Pickens History


Pickens, home of the West Virginia Maple Syrup Festival, is nestled deep in the mountainous hardwood forest of West Virginia's Randolph County. Established in the 1890s, Pickens’ became a booming town quickly. By the turn of the century, Pickens boasted Presbyterian, Baptist, and Catholic churches, a number of stores, a funeral home, several hotels, a saloon, a sawmill and a railroad. Lumber and coal mining industries drove Pickens’ economy in the late 1930s. 


While  the industrial movement in Pickens has reduced significantly, lumber and coal had a significant affect on the people of Pickens. Residents maintain a fierce pride in their self-sufficiency even decades after the railroad tracks were torn out and the lumberyards emptied.

To retain their pride and their history for the future generations, Pickens residents Arnold E. Nelson, Rosemary Smith Nelson and Ozella Smith chronicle the town’s history in “Haven in the Hardwood.”  Upon reading more about Pickens, we hope that you will visit our haven soon. 


For more details including how to order a copy of “Haven in the Hardwood,” go here.