CSX #3232 leads a westbound empty coal hopper train through Thurmond, WV on the spring morning of May 18, 2021. The town was founded by W.D. Thurmond in 1873 when the former Civil War Confederate Captain purchased 73 acres along the newly completed Chesapeake & Ohio Railway in the New River Gorge. Thurmond became the center of commerce and activity in the Gorge and became known as the "Wild West Town of the East". Activity at Thurmond peaked in 1910 when Thurmond had more freight tonnage than Cincinnati, OH, and Richmond, VA combined. 75,000 passengers also passed through the town that same year to enjoy its amenities: two hotels, two banks, numerous restaurants, and a movie theater just to name a few.