For the third installment of Zip Trip, the zip code we pulled out of a hat was 26241, which is in Elkins, W.Va.

ELKINS, W.Va. – The first place we visited in Elkins is the Depot Welcome Center. The small shop is a good place to start if you’re visiting from out of town. Here, you can find pamphlets on places you can visit in the area and find out some of the history behind the town.

“Elkins is an old town. It was begun in the 1800s and the railroad came in towards the very end of the 1800s and it was for logging,” said Anne Beardslee, Executive Director of Elkins-Randolph County Tourism Convention and Visitors Bureau, “So the history here is railroad history and we have the town that was built because so many people worked for the railroad we had to have all the amenities in order for people to survive here.”

This sign is part of the West Virginia Railroad Museum’s exhibit on the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway.

The West Virginia Railroad Museum is a short walk away from the welcome center. The museum has artifacts from railroads across the state, and they feature a new exhibit every year. This year’s exhibit is on the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway.  

Next, we went to C.J. Maggie’s for lunch. This restaurant has a wide mix of food–from pasta to steak to pizza–but their most popular food is chicken tenders. It’s a town favorite and has been open for more than 25 years, so it became a place that people cherish.

After we ate, we went to the Davis and Elkins campus to check out the Stirrup Museum. It’s a free museum that allows you to touch some of their artifacts.

According to the curator, Mark Latham, the gallery is only six years old, and the majority of the stuff had been hidden all over campus in closets and attics.

The Stirrup Gallery has 13 collections. The Darby Collection is the largest of the 13 and has thousands of Native American artifacts dating back to the Paleo Indians. The gallery has the largest collection of ice age mammal fossils in West Virginia, and guests are allowed to hold a mammoth tooth that weighs 16 pounds, a vertebra, a narwhal tusk, and other things.

The gallery also has one of the top 20 private collections of Roman coins in the United States. There are 70 coins on display from Emperor Trajan’s reign. All the coins are estimated to be around 1,900 years old, and they do have coins you can hold and touch from that period.

Finally, we ended the day at Bickle Knob Observatory Tower. The tower is about ten miles away from downtown Elkins and looks over the Otter Creek Wilderness. After enjoying the view, you can go hiking on the Otter Creek trails or go fishing in the creek.

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