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Farewell, Old Friend

The city of Elkins razed a city structure last week that served local residents for almost 100 years.

The former Elkins Water Works was officially retired last year when the city’s new $37 million water plant facility went online.

For such a historic structure, few people in the area knew where it was located, or even that it existed. Unless you had a reason to drive down Barron Avenue you probably hadn’t seen it. Located on the south side of the Barron Avenue railroad underpass, this brick plant was constructed so solidly that it withstood nearly 100 years of constant use.

This plant was no doubt state-of-the art when it was built in 1921. Countless gallons of water pumped through this plant as generations enjoyed the good taste of safe drinking water. The founding fathers of the city of Elkins knew what they were doing when they constructed the old building and installed the operational components of the Barren Avenue plant.

Perhaps the people who will miss seeing this brick structure the most will be those return passengers who ride the excursion trains as they cross the Tygart Valley River. Elkins has been fortunate to attract sightseers and history enthusiasts for many years.

We will miss seeing this old building as it had style and had been around for so many years. But we will move on knowing the city couldn’t utilize this facility any longer and that we now have a new and improved water treatment plant.

Although the new water plant won’t be as accessible or as visible as the old plant we won’t mind as long as it does the job it was built to do and we can afford to pay for the water. So we say farewell, old friend, and we hope your successor is around as long as you were.

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