This time we'll visit Grafton, WV, a formerly booming railroad town.. now a hometowny little place looking for it's niche.
Grafton's hotel was an important railroad stop.. the lobby faced the tracks. It's been abandoned for many years but is being semi-protected and is theoretically "mothballed," so isn't falling into further decay, hopefully. The neighboring train station has been converted into a very nice museum.
Anyway, Grafton has a lot going for it. It has a popular drive-in theatre, situated in beautiful mountains and rolling hills.. also it's a bit of a tourist spot as it is the site of the very first Mother's Day! The church where the first Mother's Day service happened, and the house of Anna Jarvis, founder of Mother's Day, are actually pretty popular tourist spots. The rest of downtown could really use some help, though!
(I forgot to mention the other day that Fairmont was the site of the first Father's Day.)
Okay, on with some pics.
Here's the hotel again. Like I said, this building is abandoned... but Grafton was a very important railroad town, and you could get a train to Baltimore or New York or Chicago out of here... people from all over had to stop in Grafton to switch trains or continue on their journey.
Here's the train station. It has been nicely refurbished and well taken care of. I do hope the hotel can find a way to follow suit.
The tracks don't see as many trains as they used to.. and it's no longer a passenger stop.. but it's still a major rail-line.. as you can see by the number of tracks.
A building demolition revealed what is possibly the most fantastic wall of ghost signs I have ever seen in my life!!!! I can't get enough of this.
Here's a close-up.
Here's Grafton's theatre. It's technically abandoned but is theoretically going to be reused by a student group or some such.
So far, not so run down.. but there are some storefronts and such that are in very poor condition.
These two are looking pretty good.. an occupied store and the masonic temple..
This one less so.. with apparent abandonment on the upper floors.
These two look really nice, but the blue building has some serious issues on the inside (leaks.)
Former Emerald City Shoe Store... in the left of the blue building shown above.
Poor condition storefront on the right of the blue building shown above.
This former bank is abandoned and empty, but is probably going to be restored sometime soon. All of this is a National Register district, which provides tax credits for restoration in many situations.
Here it is from the other side.
Here's the church where the First Mother's Day happened!
This block is missing a building and doesn't look too well, but maintains occupancy.
Sorry about the blur, but you can see some of the colorful parts of Grafton.
Grafton is the county seat of Taylor County, so here is the courthouse, a very strange building that has been remodeled many times.
This shop front has been entirely covered over with fakery!
A cafe, still open.
When's the last time you saw one of these?
This is the Four Corners Restaurant, a regionally-famous diner... known for it's home-cookin' and especially it's pies. The folks lined up for weekend breakfasts. Alas, it was sold and now there is a Walgreens ( :( !!!) on the site. There is a rumor it will re-open elsewhere, but it will never be the same. A terrible loss!
Oh yeah, Grafton has this great vintage Dairy Queen!
And this cool garage covered with vintage tin signs.
Here we are at the drive-in, a great place to spend a summer evening in Grafton!
:D Yay, I love the drive-in.
So, all-in-all, a little better shape than Fairmont, but it was never as large as Fairmont.. more of a country town. It's a great place to visit.. so if you like that sort of thing I highly recommend it.. even if you just go to see a drive-in movie.
Here's the rest of the Grafton set!
Here's their official website.
Thanks and enjoy!