In the southwest region of the U.S. state of West Virginia on the Kentucky border is the town of Williamson. It was incorporated in 1892, and it is uncertain who the town is named for. Some say that it is named for Wallace J. Williamson who owned the land where the town sits, and some say it is named for his father, Benjamin F. Williamson. Regardless, it is a small town, and it has a city hall where the town government meets. To see city hall in Williamson is definite worth your time if you are ever in the region.
Some of you are saying, “City Hall? City Hall is City Hall. Like any other town that has a city hall, it is just like the others. Some may be more fancy that others, but the same thing happens at this city hall as at other city halls. There is nothing special at the city hall in this town.”
So what is special about City Hall in Williamson, West Virginia? Let us first take a look at how the town of Williamson came to be.
As mentioned, it was incorporated in 1892. However, it was not much of a town until something special came to town. What was it? In the early part of the twentieth century, the Norfolk and Western Railway arrived in Williamson, West Virginia. This made the town population grow from under 1,000 in 1900 to over 9,000 in 1930. Today, the Norfolk and Southern Railway serves the town and has a rail yard here.
Some of you are saying, “Well, it is nice that the Norfolk and Western Railway continues to serve the town making this a railroad town, but what does this have to do with the town’s city hall?”
When railroads came to a town, it brought freight and passenger service to that town. Williamson was no exception. A train station was built where the trains stopped to load and unload freight and passengers. Like many small towns, passenger service was discontinued. Some of these train stations were destroyed. Some were made into visitor centers. Some were made into museums.
So, we ask what is special about City Hall in Williamson, West Virginia. The City Hall is the old train station. That is what makes the City Hall of Williamson, West Virginia special.
Now you have a reason to visit City Hall in Williamson, West Virginia. It is located on U.S. Route 52 in the center of town next to the rail line. While on U.S. Route 52, you can also look over the rail yard which is south of the town center. Please note that the interior of the City Hall is not open to the public.