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The highest incorporated town in West Virginia was founded in 1883 on the route of the West Virginia Central and Pittsburgh Railroad, then under construction. Henry Gassaway Davis, town founder, sited it near the confluence of Beaver Creek and the Blackwater River, both capable of floating logs downstream to the settlement, where they could be milled. Davis was incorporated in 1889 with a population of 909. By the 1920s, the lumber was gone, and Davis steadily lost population during the next several decades. Beginning in the 1950s, when members of the Ski Club of Washington, D.C., began to sponsor a winter carnival and Blackwater Falls State Park, virtually on the community's doorstep, began to be developed, Davis came to life again. Unlike Thomas's, Davis's commercial core has never been destroyed by a large-scale conflagration. Consequently, a number of its early frame structures, many with false fronts, remain. Many stand alongside West Virginia 32, Davis's Main Street, giving it the appearance of a “Wild West” town.

Writing Credits

S. Allen Chambers Jr.

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