Beaver, WV (West Virginia), an unincorporated community located near Beckley, West Virginia, in Raleigh County, is situated on Beaver Creek at the mouth of Little Beaver Creek.
Formerly known as Glen Hedrick, the community in the early 1900s was a busy center for lumber milling. The U.S. Mine Safety & Health Academy and the Raleigh County Memorial Airport are situated on a tableland near I-64. US-19 and WV-3 also run through Beaver.
The West Virginia Southern Regional Jail and Beckley Federal Corrections Institution are adjacent to the airport and academy.
The locale was first settled by Clarkson and William Prince, maternal cousins of Alfred Beckley, who settled nearby Beckleyville. The brothers were nephews of John Beckley, the first Librarian of Congress and clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives, who had been awarded the lands in return for his service. Big Beaver and Little Beaver creeks were named for the abundance of beavers, which over many millennia had dammed the streams into meadows that the Princes and other settlers drained and farmed.
In the early 1900s, when the community became eligible for a post office, residents discovered another West Virginia community previously acquired the name "Beaver" and instead adopted the name “Oxley,” the surname of a local merchant. In 1930, entrepreneur Grover C. Hedrick bought the operation of the former Ritter Lumber Co. and had the community name changed to "Glen Hedrick." In 1939, residents successfully petitioned the postal service to adopt the name "Beaver."
Ancient Stone Fort on Beaver Creek
While exploring the area in the 1830s, Alfred Beckley discovered what he described as an "ancient stone fort," which he surmised to be of proto- or prehistoric origin. The structure, of what might have been walls of stone, was torn down by the Blue Jay Lumber Co. in the early 1900s and the stone was used as foundation stone. Members of the Raleigh County Historical Society in 2017 launched an initiative to discover what they could of the site using aerial mapping and other new technologies.
Lodging near Beaver, West Virginia
Parks & Recreation Areas
Little Beaver State Park, on Little Beaver Creek, is located approximately four miles west of Beaver. The New River Gorge National Park and Preserve approaches the community to the north and east. Many new hiking and biking trails have been opened at the Raleigh County Airport Industrial Park, which was designed to maintain a woodland park character.
Video of Beaver, West Virginia
Synergy Aerial has provided West Virginia Explorer visitors this series of remarkable images of the Beaver area.
The community is approximately three miles southeast of Beckley, West Virginia, on US-19, and five miles north of Shady Spring, West Virginia. Little Beaver State Park is located east of the community.
Map of Beaver, West Virginia
Beaver is located in the New River Gorge Region of southern West Virginia.