Princeton, West Virginia is a small town in the southern part of the state just off Interstate 77. As you take a drive through this town, you would seem to think that this is a small town like any other town. It is the county seat of Mercer County and has a minor league baseball team in the Appalachian League. It was the home of famous people to include Bob Denver from Gilligan’s Island, actors Sam Elliot and Jennifer Garner, Ken Kendrick, owner of the Arizona Diamondbacks and basketball hall of famer Rod Thorn. What is special about Princeton, West Virginia? The story is told in the old train depot.
On the outside, you see the depot, a red caboose painted to display the Virginian Railway and a speeder car. On the inside, you will see over one hundred and fifty years of history of the railroad in the region to include how the town was very strategic for the coal industry connecting the regions with the ports in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia. You will also see an extensive collection of lanterns, signals, model locomotives, railroad art, a velocipede (three wheel bike on rails) from 1864 plus the ticket agent’s desk and the meeting table from the Sands and Company. Once you tour the inside, you may look outside for and passing trains that could be rolling by.
The Princeton Railroad Museum is located at 99 Mercer Street in Princeton, West Virginia. There is free street parking at the depot. Admission is free, but they gladly appreciate any donations you give to help with the operation of the museum for generations to come. The museum is open year round between 10:00am to 4:00pm Monday to Friday and 11:00am to 4:00pm Saturday and Sunday. Tours of the museum are also available, and the facility is also available to host your special events.
Princeton, West Virginia, a small town that has so much history. It is a small town that has so much railroad history. Let the Princeton Railroad Museum walk you through that history.