Located in the Southern tip of West Virginia, Bramwell was settled by wealthy coal mine owners at the end of the nineteenth century. Once considered the richest small town in America, Bramwell was home to as many as nineteen millionaires and their families who made their fortunes in the abundantly rich Pocahontas Coalfield.
The community sprang up almost overnight. Men followed a rainbow with black gold- coal at its end. It was an Appalachian Mountain coal rush that supplied fuel for the Industrial Revolution.
Bramwell flourished with business, a busy train station, and a lavish social life until the early 1930's when the nationwide depression, hard felt in the coal industry contributed to the closing of the wealthy Bank of Bramwell. Today Bramwell's fascinating structures remain well-preserved, standing as remnants of West Virginia's version of the "gilded age”. Guided home tours are available twice each year or by appointment.
In the town’s heyday, as many as fourteen trains went in and out of Bramwell in one day. The original depot was torn down in the 50's. A replica of the depot was built in the 1990's. Today the Nick J Rahall Interpretive Center serves as the Gateway to the southern end of the Coal Heritage Trail. The center houses a museum with coal mining memorabilia and interpretive displays providing a history lesson on coal mining and life in the coal fields.
The Depot is open daily.
For more information on Bramwell or the Train Depot call 1-866-858-5959.