Elkins Depot Welcome Center CVB, Inc., Elkins

#5 of 12 in Things to do in Elkins
History Museum · Hidden Gem · Visitor Center
Situated on a bend of the Tygart Valley River, the city of Elkins was incorporated in 1890 by Senators Henry Gassaway Davis and Stephen B. Elkins, due to the men's much-needed headquarters for the their vast timber, coal and railroad empire. Named after the junior Senator, the city of Elkins served as the Senators summer retreat from Washington, D.C. Both men built permanent places of residence, known as Halliehurst and Graceland; these Victorian-era mansions are now part of the Davis & Elkins College and are listed on the National Register for Historic Places.

In 1899, Elkins became the county seat. Davis and Elkins were developing railroad lines, coal mines and timbering. Together, they built the WV Central and Pittsburg Railway into Elkins and opened a vast territory to industrial development in the late 1890s. With those developments, Elkins started a building boom. By 1906, as described in "The Coming Metropolis of the State," the town boasted of "European-style" hotels, opera houses, banks, a YMCA, brickworks, tannery and brewery. Davis Memorial Hospital and Davis & Elkins College had already been founded. The city was attracting hundreds of rail and timbering workers as well as business entrepreneurs, all looking to call Elkins their home.

As the railroad expanded, Elkins experienced the luxury of passenger train service. By 1930, 18 passenger trains were arriving and leaving Elkins daily, filling the air with the coal dust of steam locomotives. But, by the late 1950s, passenger service was discontinued; and, by the end of the 1980s, all rail service ended. However, at the turn of the 21st century, the rail yard began to be vibrant again, thanks to the Randolph County Development Authority. The construction of a new bridge at the south end of the old Western Maryland rail yard was completed in May 2007. This gave the Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad the opportunity to lease the depot for their excursion trains, the New Tygart Flyer and the Cheat Mountain Salamander, to handle passengers there, as well as for use as their new dispatching center and retail store. Behind the depot is a town square that is used as a central gathering spot for local events, as well as the seasonal Elkins Farmers Market. And, of course, the Elkins Depot Welcome Center, the central location for tourist information about the whole area, calls the depot home!

Elkins has now become a tourist destination year-round and not just a stop along the way. Be sure to plan your next trip to Elkins so you can see what the fuss is all about. Don’t forget to stop by the depot and say hi!
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Elkins Depot Welcome Center CVB reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
146 reviews
  • Within a minute of our entering we were greeted and the gentleman was ready for our questions. Train tickets can be purchased here, if you preordered your tickets this is where you’ll check in. Tons.....  more »
  • The Elkins Depot Welcome Center is just coming back to life after all of the restrictions for Covid19. We visited on a Sunday, only to learn that we had come to the wrong location (had to head to...  more »
  • The Tygart Flyer is amazing!!! They provide lunch and it is a super trip, you get to stop at the High Falls and get to get out and check them out up close and personally. It is a smooth ride and long, you definitely get to have a wonderful ride. The depot is a great place to visit and purchase items dealing with trains.
  • You will always be greeted with a smile and you will always feel welcome! The staff is always kind and helpful; and the depot has a lovely gift shop and lots of information and brochures to help you plan your next adventure. The Polar Express train excursion is a lively, fun adventure that appeals to the child in all of us! A most memorable and joyous adventure!

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