The first European settlers in the county area were Jeremiah and Benjamin Carpenter, who settled on the Elk River in 1784. Around 1810, the area began developing as a major trade center for farmers on surrounding lands, and was inhabited primarily by descendants of the original trans-Allegheny pioneers. The growing village was established in 1826 as Suttonville after its founder, John D. Sutton. Its name was changed to simply Sutton in 1837.
Braxton County was created in 1836 from parts of Lewis, Kanawha and Nicholas counties. It was named in honor of Carter Braxton, a noted Virginia statesman who was a long-time member of the Virginia House of Burgesses and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Braxton County was also the site of the Civil War Battle at Bulltown in 1863.
After the war, Braxton County's economy began to grow, with most of the growth due to the presence of tanneries, brick manufacturers, pottery manufacturers, grain mills and iron ore smelting. The timber industry was also an important source of employment.
In 1892, a railroad extending from Clarksburg in Harrison County to Sutton, and then on to Richwood in Nicholas County was built. The railroad line helped the county's economy by providing a means of shipping goods to and from northern West Virginia. In 1904, Braxton County's resurgence continued when the Coal & Coke Railroad, which ran from Charleston to Elkins in Randolph County, added a branch from Gassaway to Sutton.
Do you enjoy seeing life begin anew in the spring, the gentle warm days of summer, the breathtaking colors of autumn, followed by the pristine snows of winter? On average, there are 161 sunny days per year in the Flatwoods/Sutton region. The high temperatures in July get up to 88 degrees, and lows in January fall to 22 degrees. The comfort index is 44 out of 100. This area receives about 48 inches of rain and 29 inches of snow each year.
Our area elementary, middle and high schools provide a broad based curriculum designed to prepare students for any field of endeavor. Smaller classes offer the perfect learning atmosphere wherein the student's academic and extracurricular needs can be realized.
Higher education at Glenville State College, a four year liberal arts institution, offers associate and bachelor degrees in many different fields. The college also sponsors summer continuing education courses and an elderhostel program. Several other colleges are within a 100-mile radius of the area.
Braxton County Memorial Hospital sits just a couple miles away from Flatwoods & Sutton, where it serves local health care needs.
Lovers of the outdoors will appreciate the loads of opportunities for hunting and fishing in Braxton County. Deer, turkey, raccoon, grouse, rabbit, squirrel, duck, bear - whatever your target, it can be found in abundance here. Fishermen are offered well over 100 miles of shoreline here, and the fishing doesn't get much better than Braxton County. The Elk River is home to muskie and walleye, and its tailwaters are stocked with trout. Meanwhile, Sutton and Burnsville lakes feature a variety of bass, crappie, muskie, catfish and bluegill. Sutton Lake is truly a fisherman's paradise, with a large variety of fish and numerous boat ramps. Swimming beaches are available at both Bee Run and Sutton Dam. Completed in 1961, Sutton Dam is 210-ft high, 1,178 feet long and 195 feet wide at the base. Burnsville Lake and Dam offer a full-service marina, excellent fishing and guide service. The Bulltown Day Use Area also has a swimming beach and boat launch ramps.
The area is also home to 2,400-acre Cedar Creek State Park. Summersville Lake and Stonewall Jackson Lake are within an hour's drive. Take a day and shoot the white water rapids on the New River or ski the slopes of Snowshoe, Silver Creek, Timberline and Winter Place ski resorts. Sutton and Burnsville lakes provide boating, skiing and camping. There are also several campgrounds, small parks, picnic facilities and public stream access areas.
We are proud of our rich heritage, but are every bit as proud of our present facilities to provide a superior quality of life. If you are looking for a wholesome, family-oriented atmosphere, steeped in tradition, come take a close look at Central West Virginia. We think you will agree that it is "Almost Heaven" and the place where you belong.