The Official Website of the State of West Virginia

The day they knocked a hole in the Cheat River in West Virginia


​The strange story of "the day they knocked a hole in the Cheat River" has been passed down for more than a century. It's one of West Virginia's obscure-but-enduring legends.  Some historians have questioned whether the tale from Preston County is historical or just astonishingly good. The events as described in the following version can be traced to the November 14, 1885, edition of The Weston Democrat.

A lot of crazy things have happened in West Virginia, but the day they knocked the hole in the Cheat River is one of the more bizarre. About fifteen miles north of Kingwood, West Virginia, along the Cheat River, some of the most rugged and inspiring scenery can be seen anywhere in West Virginia, if not North America east of the Rocky Mountains.

On the other side of the river, for probably half a mile, rises a perpendicular wall of solid limestone about 350 feet high. From the top of the walls of cliffs, the craggy and timbered mountain looms up more than 2,000 feet. Near the top of this mountain, a great rock had stood for unknown ages, measuring 20 feet from top to bottom and averaging about 18 feet in thickness.

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