RITCHIE'S CAIRO STILL CHURNING SINCE 1821 - Tunnels, Trails And The Ritchie Mine


Historic Bank of Cairo

Made in West Virginia shop one of several outlets

By Bob Weaver

The Ritchie County town of Cairo, founded in 1821, still has the flavor of times past, but is now beginning to offer a glimpse of the opportunities for outdoor discovery and recreation, with the rails to trails and the new dam being built nearby.

In the center of the village is the original Bank of Cairo, a symbol of flourishing times one hundred years ago. The building is on the National Historical Register.

Walking through Tunnel 19

Safety compartments for folks when trains came through

The light at the far end of cut-stone Tunnel 19

The old 62-mile B & O Railroad bed from the 1850's, which has been turned into a biking and hiking trail, brings most new visitors to the village. Most impressive are the massive hand cut train tunnels along the way. We walked through "Tunnel 19."

The town now has several shops, including a 1940's-50's ice cream parlor, a bike shop and a gallery featuring made in West Virginia products. The town has its own museum. Nearby is one of the state's most relaxing state parks - North Bend.

A 1940's-50's real life ice cream parlor

Fountain serves the goodies

A spur railroad line was built to the famous Ritchie Mines and later to Macfarland.