The Virginian Railway from 1905 until 1953 sustained growth in commerce and population in Princeton, West Virginia, and helped it retain its position as the seat of Mercer County, a designation long sought by nearby Bluefield, West Virginia. Rail lines that descended from some of the richest coalfields in the United States carried loads of up to 6,000 tons of coal daily through the Virginians yard at Princeton to Tidewater ports of Virginia. Its machine and repair shops were the cheif employers in the region, sustaining more than 800 employees by the mid-1920s. The 33-acre railway district includes 14 structures built in an industrial adaptation of Romanesque Revival architecture and which include loading platforms, offices, storehouses, pump houses, repair shops, and an engineering building.
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