MONTERVILLE, W.Va. – On Saturday, June 26, Gov. Joe Manchin led a public celebration recognizing the donation of land for a new public fishing access site on the Elk River near Monterville in Randolph County. The land has been owned for many years by Grafton Coal Company of Bridgeport, W.Va.
C.E. “Jim” Compton, founder of Grafton Coal Company, was a well-known philanthropist, entrepreneur and advocate for West Virginia. He loved the Elk River, fished it often and wanted everyone to know of its beauty and natural resources. The newly named 80-acre Jim Compton Elk River Public Access site was donated to the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources by the Compton and Corton families and Grafton Coal Company as a living tribute to Mr. Compton’s legacy and strong advocacy of West Virginia.
The donation ensures permanent public fishing access to key segments of the upper Elk River. Gov. Manchin told those in attendance, including members of the Compton and Corton families, employees of Grafton Coal Company, DNR Director Frank Jezioro and staff, local business leaders and trout fishermen, that “this generous donation guarantees that current and future generations of trout anglers will always be able to enjoy fishing one of the state’s best and most popular trout streams. “
The Governor also stressed the important economic role that tourism will play in the state’s future. Before concluding, a memorial plaque recognizing the donation and in remembrance of Jim Compton was dedicated at the site.