"Beckley: A Town with a Mine of It's Own" Beckley by Stephen-KarenConn

Beckley Travel Guide: 22 reviews and 50 photos

Beckley, the seat of Raleigh County, was founded on General Alfred Beckley's land and was originally called Beckleyville. Charted by the Virginia General Assembly in 1838, some historians claim that the town was named for General Alfred Beckley's father, John Beckley. He was the first Clerk of the Congress during the administration of Presidents George Washington, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson and later served as the first Librarian of Congress. Others claim that the town was named for General Alfred Beckley. In either case, the town had a very slow start. The first business did not locate in the town until 1850 and prior to that time the local settlers sarcastically referred to Beckley's land as " Beckley's Paper Town. " By 1860 the town's population had grown to only 160, with another 160 living in the vicinity. From 1881 to 1897, the town was called Beckleyville, Town of Beckley, and Raleigh Court House. The name Beckley finally won out around 1897. It was incorporated by the West Virginia state legislature on April 26, 1927.

Today Beckley is the thriving commercial center for southern West Virginia. Although the city counts only 18,000 residents, it is the heart of a metropolitan area of around 80,000, and also the major shopping area for several surrounding counties. The Leading industries and chief agricultural products are health, tourism, coal and coal related products, timber, mining equipment, electronic parts, building blocks, cattle, potatoes, peppers, corn, strawberries, and show horses.


  • Last visit to Beckley: May 2006
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (12)

Comments (7)

  • May 14, 2010 at 2:40 PM

    The thing is the church did not have a basement. I am positive about this as I was born and raised in pemberton, and know better.

  • Florida999's Profile Photo
    May 7, 2009 at 10:28 AM

    This was a "maybe" on my list, but looking at your page makes me want to visit this coal mine and the area around it! Lots of good info here

  • May 4, 2007 at 7:20 PM

    I grew up in Pemberton and actually attended this church when I was a little girl. It is great to see it preserved like this. Many good memories.

  • DEBBBEDB's Profile Photo
    Dec 25, 2006 at 11:46 AM

    I had no idea there was such a thing as an exhibition coal mine

  • mikelisaanna's Profile Photo
    Jul 16, 2006 at 7:16 PM

    We enjoyed your Beckley page. We'll have to figure out a way to work it into one of our West Virginia trips.

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Jun 5, 2006 at 4:38 PM

    Finished up...Stellar pages, Stephen. Right "up my alley" ...love your use of extra photos. Makes for a more complete experience. Yum to the restaurant....love white beans! Always a pleasure to read and see your work.

  • Pawtuxet's Profile Photo
    Jun 5, 2006 at 6:29 AM

    Two bucks a month, huh? I've been thinking of scaling down..... ::-)

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