In the southeastern region of the U.S. state of West Virginia is a small town of Marlinton. It is here where you will find the 4th Avenue Gallery Fine Arts and Crafts. What is the 4th Avenue Gallery Fine Arts and Crafts?
Some of you are saying, “Well, duh, it is a gallery that has arts and crafts that happens to be on 4th Avenue.”
You can say that, but it is more. The 4th Avenue Gallery Fine Arts and Crafts is a gallery of works by a collection of artists that are part of the Pocahontas County Artisan Co-op. What kind of artisans? You have broom makers, basket makers, stonecutters, quilters, photographers, jewelry makers mostly from the region. The gallery displays their works, and you can also purchase their work from the gallery. If you are ever in West Virginia, make your way to the town of Marlinton and visit the 4th Avenue Gallery Fine Arts and Crafts. They will be glad to see you.
Some of you are saying, “This is nice. Here is a gallery that displays artists’ works. It is nice to know that a gallery does this. There is an enormous and huge problem. This place is a gallery. There are no trains here. Therefore, I will not make the art of seeing this gallery nor will I craft my visit to this place.”
So, what is special about a visit to the 4th Avenue Gallery Fine Arts and Crafts? Here is the answer.
The town of Marlinton, West Virginia is named after Jacob Marlin, one of the men who settled the area and would build a cabin that the town was built around. Located on the Greenbrier River, the town grew, and it became the home of a opera house, a newspaper and a jail. (These sites are on the National Register of Historic Places today.) In the early days of the United States of America, a growing town attracted something. What was that something? That something was the railroad. In 1901, the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway began passenger and freight service to the town of Marlinton. The town of Marlinton was part of the glory days of railroading. Sadly, passenger rail service ended in 1958, and the railroad stopped service to the town years later. The tracks were eventually taken up, and what was once the right of way of the Chesapeake and Ohio became the Greenbrier River Trail which follows the original railroad bed that runs mainly in conjunction with the nearby Greenbrier River.
Some of you are saying, “That is so cool about Marlinton. It is sad that this town is no longer a railroad town. What does this have to do with the 4th Avenue Gallery Fine Arts and Crafts?”
That is a very good question. Here is the answer.
When trains stopped in a small town, it stopped at a train station. Although the railroad no longer passes through Marlinton and that the railroad tracks are long gone, the old train station where the train stopped remains today. It is the centerpiece of the town today, and it is here where you will find the 4th Avenue Gallery Fine Arts and Crafts. Therefore, when you visit the 4th Avenue Gallery Fine Arts and Crafts, you will be seeing the exceptional work of many artisans, you will also be visiting a great piece of railroad history. The Old Marlinton Train Station, like the opera house, the jail, and the Pocahontas Print Shop, is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The 4th Avenue Gallery Fine Arts and Crafts is owned and operated by the Pocahontas County Artisan Co-op which is based in Marlinton. It is located at 720 4th Avenue in Marlinton, West Virginia which is just north of West Virginia Route 39 and its crossing of the Greenbrier River Trail and one mile east of U.S. Route 219. The Gallery is open from 10:00am to 5:00pm. (It is closed on Mondays.) Parking is available on 4th Street. Admission to the gallery is free, and many of their works are available for purchase. You can learn more about the gallery and about the Pocahontas County Artisan Co-op at https://pocahontasartistry.com/.
The next time somebody tells you to visit the 4th Avenue Gallery Fine Arts and Crafts in Marlinton, West Virginia, go visit. See a place where great artists and railroad history come together.