Filled with historic beauty and charm, Rowlesburg is a community celebrated by history. In 2008, the community celebrated its Sesquicentennial. The town celebrated 180 years. Originally a railroad town, the first train crossed the Cheat River in Rowlesburg on Christmas Day in 1852. At that time, the Sawmill Industry was booming. Rowlesburg was surveyed and granted Historic District Status in 2005, placed on the National Register of Historic Places with recognition of over 50 historic buildings and one small park area at that time.
The Nassif Building on Church Street is the oldest standing building in Rowlesburg. The community was awarded ON TRAC status in 2009 and Main Street Affiliate Status in 2021.
The community of Rowlesburg is exceptional not only for its friendly residents, a willingness to lend a helping hand, but its sports gatherings at Rowlesburg Park, art gallery, historical museums on Main Street and evening dances with live music.
The Rowlesburg community, set within magnificent mountains and hills and surrounded by the Cheat River, proudly features its festival schedule, including the famous Ox Roast, River City Festival of the Arts, Christmas Market, Chestnut Festival and much more. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy the Cheat River for its boating and kayaking, tubing and swimming experience.
The memorable exhibit at the Szilagyi Center (old Rowlesburg School) showcases authentic military uniforms, memorabilia, medals, war posters and photographs.
With ten high schools within Preston County, each with its own sports program, a group of representatives within the ten schools organized a museum in the Szilagyi Center highlighting the area’s sports history, including baseball, basketball and football. To add to the museum, many former athletes donated meaningful items.
The Szilagyi Center for the Visual and Performing Arts is owned and operated by the Rowlesburg Revitalization Committee, Inc. The renovated building is home to the WWII Museum, B & O Depot and Museum, Riverbend Art Studio and the Preston County Sports Museum. The center has rooms available to rent for corporate gatherings.
Unique to Rowlesburg, visitors can view the Tray Run Viaduct sitting high on the hill, in late fall or early spring, with less leaf coverage. The historic railroad bridge operates today and is the infamous bridge on the back of the West Virginia State Seal.
Known as a strategic location in the Battle of Rowlesburg during the Civil War, visitors can view the Cheat River and the railroad bridge that was the focus of the battle from the heights of Cannon Hill. Tours are available from May through October via the Rowlesburg Area Historical Society.
Rowlesburg is situated near the Allegheny Trail, which runs through the forested hills of West Virginia from the Pennsylvania border until it meets the Appalachian Trail on Peters Mountain at the Virginia border. Nature lovers will love the beautiful vistas and wildlife viewable along the trail, whether they seek a short day trip or enjoy a multi-day excursion.
Rent a boat at the River House Lodge and cruise down the Cheat River Water Trail, immersing yourself in the beautiful scenery Rowlesburg has to offer.
Home of the River Lions, Rowlesburg School offers programming for students in prekindergarten through eighth grade.
The Rowlesburg Senior Center is one location of Preston County Senior Citizens, Inc. Residents of age 60 or older find the Center an excellent source for healthy activities, camaraderie and programming for health, medical and financial needs.
Rowlesburg is famous for its variety of festivals from May through December. Bringing the community together, the River City Festival of the Arts portrays a living history performance, symphony and band performances and much more.
Rowlesburg Park is the site of the Annual Labor Day Ox Roast, featuring live music, food, fireworks and a variety of kid-friendly activities.
Held in the fall, the Chestnut Festival celebrates the beauty of Autumn with community activities including breakfast in the River City Cafe, park activities on the bank of the Cheat River, sampling and purchasing savory roasted chestnuts and local vendors selling authentic crafts and wares.
The Annual Christkindlmarkt features an abundance of vendors displaying their original Christmas gifts. The festive environment is complete with live music, food, Christmas decorations and crafts.
The multi-acre community park is enjoyed by all, with riverside space including a lighted walking path, basketball courts, baseball fields, tennis court, river access, picnic pavilions perfect for barbecues. There’s even a summer concession stand for grabbing a snack in the sun! The park is equipped to house reunions, parties and picnics. Cheat Mountain is just 10 miles east of Rowlesburg Park.
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