Fatty Lipcomb's in the ghost town of Thurmond, West Virginia.
Filed officially in the National Register of Historic Places papers as "Fatty Lipcomb's" - John Bullock/Roger Armandtrout House, the home is best known locally as Fatty Lipcomb's Guest House. It was constructed circa 1900 and is considered one of the important historical homes remaining in Thurmond.
Fronted by the railroad tracks and tucked into the foot of the mountain, this large house retains much of its charm despite having been modified for the needs of a boarding house or hostelry for a whitewater rafting company when the National Parks Service purchased the town. There were once two homes west of it and the first telephone exchange building in the region, but those buildings burned many years ago, making this home the westernmost building left on the flood plain in town.
Both the interior and exterior of the home were featured in the 1986 movie "Matewan," serving as a boarding house during the West Virginia Mine Wars that housed both Baldwin-Felts detectives and a labor organizer portrayed by actor Chris Cooper in his debut film appearance.
A boomtown in the 1900s, Thurmond, West Virginia, was one of the busiest railroad towns along the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway. Right in the heart of the coal country, all the coal mined in the area was brought to Thurmond to be shipped out. Over fifteen passenger trains traveled through town daily, and the depot served around 75,000 visitors a year. When the diesel locomotives came along, and coal was not as widely used or mined, the businesses closed down, and residents moved on.
Like a time capsule, Thurmond still possesses all the characteristics of a 1920s Appalachian coal town. The town has been designated a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places and is part of the New River Gorge National Park.
Copyright 2023 Susan Rissi Tregoning
September 13th, 2023
Viewed 165 Times - Last Visitor from New York, NY on 09/28/2023 at 4:17 PM