Gauley River National Recreation Area

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The Gauley River--at its calmest.
The Gauley River--at its calmest. (Ken Thomas/Wikimedia)

Historically, the Gauley River has been both a corridor and a barrier to human activity. The first non-native settlement was established in the late 1700s at Peter's Creek. In the early 1900s, railroads and lumber companies came to the Gauley River gorge to harvest the vast supply of timber.

The Civil War was a major event of significance along the Gauley River. Life was disrupted as disorganization and turmoil affected everyone living in the area. A major Civil War incident occurred on September 10, 1861, at the confluence of the Gauley and Meadow rivers. Union troops engaged the confederates and forced them to evacuate an entrenched position overlooking Carnifex Ferry. The site of this event is located two miles southwest of the Summersville Dam and is listed on the National Register of Historical Places as Carnifex Ferry Battlefield State Park.

Published: 27 Jul 2009 | Last Updated: 9 Jun 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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