Caldwell, West Virginia
|Caldwell, West Virginia|
|Elevation||1,696 ft (517 m)|
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|Area code(s)||304 & 681|
|GNIS feature ID||1554050|
Caldwell is an unincorporated community in Greenbrier County, West Virginia, United States. Caldwell is located on U.S. Route 60 3 miles (4.8 km) southeast of Lewisburg. Caldwell has a post office with ZIP code 24925.
The earliest History of Caldwell is centered on Elmhurst, as there wasn't any village of any size until after 1900. Elmhurst Tavern was located on part of the Anderson Lands. The Tavern was built in1824 by Henry B. Hunter, son -in-law of Captain Anderson. The Anderson mansion was on the other side of the river. Elmhurst was operated for years as a stage stop, being only a few yards from the toll bridge over which passed the east and west stage and wagon road. The Bridge over the Greenbrier river was built in 1821.
The tavern with its extensive acreage was sold in 1848 at auction together with a gristmill in court proceedings of Allen T. Caperton, executor of Henry Erskine's estate v. Henry B. Hunters Heirs. Elmhurst was bought by Jon A . North who in 1851 presented the tavern property as a wedding present to his daughter, Isabelle, (Mrs. James R Caldwell) The Caldwells took up their residence two years later. So with all this said, The name Caldwell for the town comes from the marriage of Isabelle Abney North to James Robinson Caldwell married on November 24, 1852.
The Tavern had been a favorite stopping place in the early days, It was especially convenient as an attractive place for "picnic parties" from the Old White. Records show that Martin Van Buren and his Secretary of War were honored guests there August 25, 1837. The Tavern is now a few feet lower than the present Highway was originally on the same level as the turnpike. It was well placed to appeal to the weary travelers who, pausing to pay toll at the dusty old covered bridge, could not fail to stop at the tree -shaded Inn.
Mr Hunter also operated a large wagon and blacksmith shop as well as a gristmill. He obtained exemptions from six and one forth cents bridge toll not only for himself and his family but for his customers as well.
Following the battle of Lewisburg in 1862, The retreating confederates under General Heath burned the bridge. A Ferry was later established by Hunter and a son, Henry F. Hunter, who lost his life by drowning in an attempt to secure the ferry .
In 1861 the Caldwell Family had suffered the loss of three daughters from Diphtheria and the serious illness of Mrs Caldwell in 1864. Due to her condition the family was unable to flee to safety when the news came of Hunter's retreat from Lynchburg. All they had time to do was to conceal their most valued possessions. The silverware was buried under the floor of a poultry house, which is still standing.
When the confederate troops arrived, their intention was to burn the house and other buildings . The officer in charge was told of the illness of Mrs. Caldwell. Thinking it only an excuse he ordered his physician to examine her. Finding her condition critical the Physician stated it would kill her to be moved, so Elmhurst escaped the torch.
During the early part of this century this property was sold to Ashford M. Caldwell, who was unrelated to the family. About 1918 John North Caldwell bought back the house and forty acres of land . This property was still in the possession of the descendants of Jon A. North whose grandson J.North Caldwell died in 1940.
In 1953 The Caldwell Family sold the Inn to Clement Grangier, former chef at the Greenbrier Hotel in nearby White Sulphur Springs, who operated it as an Inn. The Post Office was Established in 1879 and named after the Caldwell Family who were the first settlers. Mr James Watkins was a pioneer merchant who conducted a general store and was the first postmaster. Mr. Watkins owned all the land in the valley around Caldwell. In 1910 a lot sale was held and the village 0f Caldwell started building . Before this time there were only about six houses.
The first hard road which ran through Caldwell was built in 1917. In 1930 this road was relocated and widened. The present site of the bridge across Greenbrier River was built in 1932. Better methods of transportation made it possible for many of the residents of Caldwell to work in White Sulpur, Lewisburg, and Ronceverte.
In 1925 the City of White Sulpur Springs voted a bond issue, One of the three buildings constructed was the Caldwell School. The Monroe Draft School was discontinued and the pupils were then transported to Caldwell . At the same time another one -room School, Coal Bank was discontinued and the students were transported to Lewisburg. At this time the High School students were transported to White Sulpur Springs to attend school.
The Caldwell Presbyterian church was built in 1920. The Pentecostal Holiness Church was organized about the same time .
For more information contact the North House Museum in Lewisburg, WV.