Widen

GPS: 38.466, -80.857
ELEVATION: 1,148 Feet

Junior and Ruth Young have made Widen their home since 1984. They have been volunteer workers for the community’s Volunteer Fire Department and Ladies Auxilliary, and in helping convert the Fire Department Building to a Community Center.

Junior and Ruth Young have made Widen their home since 1984. They have been volunteer workers for the community’s Volunteer Fire Department and Ladies Auxilliary, and in helping convert the Fire Department Building to a Community Center.

Widen is about five miles off County Highway 11 near Buffalo Creek.

In the early 1900s Widen started as a coal and lumber camp for workers of the Elk River Coal and Lumber Company. It’s peak was around 1950 with 3,000 residents. Today Widen is a rural residential community with a remnant of coal camp homes surviving with several contemporary homes. Residents enjoy outdoor recreation including hunting, fishing and riding ATVs. Many keep livestock and grow vegetable gardens.

The Widen Community Center is used for an Annual Ramp Dinner and for Widen Days, an annual reunion of past Widen residents. It has a kitchen, restrooms and a large meeting room. The center is owned by the Clay County Commission. For information or to use the center call 304-587-4259.

J. G. Bradley, the President of Elk River Coal and Lumber Company and the Buffalo Creek and Gauley Railroad started the town. His companies were the tax base for Clay County. The county could not pay its debts until the Elk River Coal and Lumber Company paid its taxes. At one time Mr. Bradley’s empire covered 81,000 acres in Clay, Braxton and Nicholas Counties. His holdings also included the Bank of Widen. During a good year his annual payroll was more than four million dollars. Click [here] for more information about Widen history.

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 Widen Post Office

Widen Post Office

Widen Community Center... Widen Day comes once each year, on the last Saturday of July.

Widen Community Center… Widen Day comes
once each year, on the last Saturday of July.

 A contemporary home in Widen, West Virginia

A contemporary home in Widen, West Virginia

Many Widen residents keep livestock such as these horses

Many Widen residents keep livestock
such as these horses

This young father gets help from his son to tune up their ATV

This young father gets help from his son
to tune up their ATV

 Coal camp-style home in Widen, West Virginia

Coal camp-style home in Widen, West Virginia