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WV Tourism

Dunbar, Institute & Nitro

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Area Information

Dunbar, Institute & Nitro CMP

Want to have a look from the other side of the Kanawha River in western Kanawha County? Access Route 25 from Route 60 at 3rd Street in St. Albans by crossing the St. Albans-Nitro Bridge; or in South Charleston, use the Dunbar Bridge for an interesting side trip along the Nitro-Institute-Dunbar Route 25 loop.

Native Americans originally inhabited this area. Much of the land along Route 25 was surveyed by George Washington and given to leaders in his regiments for their military service.

Originally, the rich river valley of Institute was the Samuel Cabell Plantation. In 1865, Cabell left the plantation to his slave mistress Mary Barnes and their 13 children. In 1890, one of their daughters, Marina, sold 30 acres of the farm to build a land-grant institution for African-Americans, which became West Virginia State College, and then in 2004, West Virginia State University. Tours of WVSU's beautiful campus, historical buildings, and the graves of Samuel Cabell and Mary Barnes are available by calling 304.766.5159.

Nitro was created when the U.S. needed gunpowder during World War I. Homes for workers and the nitroglycerin plant were built in 11 months. The war ended just after the first shipment was sent to the front. Several industrial facilities have made Nitro their home.

Antique Shopper's Paradise
Travel Rout 25 to find several large antique shops, handmade quilt and candle shops and Brandywine Flea Market. Annual Antiques Fair 1st week in June.

Nitro World War I and Boomtown Museum
Nitro Community Center, 21st Street and 2nd Avenue; 304.546.4460/304.755.1405. Friday 9 - 2, Saturday 9 - noon.
Extensive collection of memorabilia from WWI and early days of Nitro. Clark Gable worked in Nitro in 1918.

Mardi Gras Casino and Resort
Greyhound racing, slots, table games, and fine and casual dining.

Nitro City Hall: 304.755.0707

Nitro CVB: 304.533.6059