Flatwoods, West Virginia

A summer storm rumbles over Flatwoods, West Virginia, in Braxton County, near the very center of the Mountain State.

The Town of Flatwoods, WV (West Virginia), a community in rural Braxton County, was incorporated in 1902 and named for the level uplands at the heads of Granny Creek, Salt Lick Creek, and Flatwoods Run. The population was 277 as of the .

As a result of its situation on the Interstate 79 expressway near the center of West Virginia, the community is a popular rendezvous site for state conferences. Its proximity to Sutton and Burnsville lakes draws many anglers, hunters, and campers to the town.

Perhaps the town is, however, best known as the home of the Braxton County Monster. The monster legend attracts thousands of visitors to the area annually.


The Flatwoods Monster

U.S. 19 near the unpublished location of the 1952 sighting

Flatwoods is popularly known as the home of the legend of the , which is also known as the Braxton County Monster, the Green Monster, and Braxxie. According to the tale, an alleged extraterrestrial being crash-landed its flying vehicle on a hill above the town in 1952. The event was witnessed by a handful of locals.

Their story made the papers and was circulated across the globe. The monster was more recently recreated as one of the chief villains in the Fallout 76 computer game.

In nearby Sutton, the is managed by the Braxton County Convention and Visitors Bureau and includes a shop and displays of memorabilia associated with the legend and its aftermath.


History

Sutton Cemetery near Flatwoods, WV

The level upland around Flatwoods was likely the site of Native American villages for many years before the arrival of Europeans in the area in the late 1700s. As early as 1830, a community at what would become the town included a church established by pastor John Clark, according to historian John Sutton.

Flatwoods appears on maps as early as 1873, though the town was not incorporated until 1902. Located nearly midway between the valleys of the Elk and Little Kanawha rivers, the town was a regionally important stop on the West Virginia and Pittsburgh Railroad, which extended a line to the town from near Sutton in the late 1800s.

The line was later acquired by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and Flatwoods was notably at the halfway point on its Clarksburg-to-Richwood branch.

The completion of I-79 in the late 1970s dramatically changed the region. Developer John Skidmore acquired a large area of level land at the head of Granny Run and established a commercial center there that benefits from its location near the center of the state. Many meetings and conventions are held there, a drive of an hour or two from most principal West Virginia cities.

The Sutton Days Inn and Conference Center and Flatwoods Factory Outlet Stores are located off I-79 at Flatwoods.


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Lodging near Flatwoods, West Virginia


Parks & Public Recreation

Flatwoods is a drive of fewer than 15 minutes from two of the state's largest woodland lakes—Sutton and Burnsville—and the vast wildlife management areas that surround them.

Sutton Lake and the near reaches of the Elk River Wildlife Management Area are located three miles south of Flatwoods on the Elk River.

Burnsville Lake and the Burnsville Lake Wildlife Management Area are located six miles northeast on the Little Kanawha River. Holly Gray Park at Flatwoods is the home of the annual Braxton County Fair.


Location

Flatwoods is located approximately 70 miles northwest of Charleston, West Virginia, 85 miles north of Beckley, West Virginia, 90 miles south of Morgantown, West Virginia, 90 miles southeast of Parkersburg, West Virginia, 123 miles east of Huntington, West Virginia, 130 miles north of Bluefield, West Virginia, 140 miles south of Wheeling, West Virginia, and 220 miles west of Martinsburg, West Virginia.


Map of Flatwoods, West Virginia


Regional Information

Flatwoods is located in the Heartland Region in central West Virginia. For more information, contact the .


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