Bluegrass, hip-hop, and everything in between can be heard at live music venues and annual festivals. [MORE]
HISTORY & HERITAGE
Tucker County’s rich history is proudly celebrated throughout its communities. [MORE]
To preserve and advance Tucker County culture.
We aim to enhance Tucker County’s unique mountain culture by developing opportunities to experience art, music, history, and outdoor recreation. Through these experiences, residents and visitors can discover the region’s cultural, historical, and industrial heritage.
Woman on Bike by Rebecca Wudarski
Tucker County is home to a thriving, diverse, and active arts scene. Together, the neighboring towns of Thomas and Davis boast three live-music venues, over a dozen open-door studios and art galleries, plus numerous businesses that actively show and promote local art. Thomas hosts the annual ArtSpring festival, known for its outdoor Art Walks on historic Front Street. Davis hosts the Plum Tuckered Film Festival in the historic National Bank of Davis building. In the county seat of Parsons, you’ll find a rotating exhibition at the courthouse and Pickin’ in Parsons, an award-winning Bluegrass festival on the banks of the mighty Cheat River.
The unique natural beauty of the Potomac Highlands region has long been an attraction to artists, photographers, and song-writers seeking to draw inspiration from this incredibly diverse and ecologically important area. At the same time, many contemporary and non-traditional artists are drawn to the area for its collectively creative community, producing modern pieces one would expect to find in an urban setting. The diversity of resident artists yields an unexpected and impressive run of work throughout the year. Wandering through the shops, restaurants, galleries, and studios, it’s clear to see how the arts are an integral part of Tucker County’s cultural identity.
Art Spaces of Tucker County
The Studio Gallery
CANAAN VALLEY, WV
Mountain music echoes throughout Tucker County. Bluegrass, hip-hop, and everything in between can be heard at annual festivals and live music venues any time of year. Pickin’ in Parsons, the largest festival in the county, features five days of bluegrass and hillbilly tunes. It was also deemed the 2017 International Bluegrass Event of the Year. Nearly every day of the week, you can find live music at The Purple Fiddle, Mountain State Brewing Co. or Canaan Valley State Park.
Tucker County also lies at the northern end of The Mountain Music Trail, which aims to connect artists and promote authentic Appalachian music. By linking five counties along the route 219 corridor, the trail continues cultivating the rich heritage of mountain music. The Mountain Dance Trail also traverses Tucker County along its east to west route from the Virginia state line to the Ohio River. A series of dance events along the trail embraces traditional dance culture across the state.
Mountain music pervades Tucker County. Whether it’s bluegrass, Hip Hop, or anything in-between, you are bound to find music that reflects our communities anytime during the year. Our biggest music festival is Pickin’ in Parsons, but you can also hear live music nearly every day of the week whether that’s at The Purple Fiddle, Mountain State Brewing Co., Mill Race Park, or one of the resorts — Timberline Four Seasons or Canaan Valley State Park.
The Mountain Music Trail and the Mountain Dance Trail encompass five counties along U.S. Route 219, which goes straight through Tucker County. Special concerts and dances are hosted here regularly. Musicians are flocking to the area to be a part of the unique arts and music movement that is happening here in Tucker.
Music Spaces and Resources
history & heritage
Tucker County’s rich history is proudly celebrated throughout its communities. Before West Virginia was admitted to the Union, Tucker County was created in 1856 from Randolph County in Virginia.
Relics from the early years of Tucker County’s coal and timber industries, such as mill buildings and coke ovens, can still be found throughout the area. Corrick’s Ford Battlefield, on the edge of Parsons, marks the site where the first general of the Civil War died (Confederate General Robert S. Garnett), resulting in the Union army’s control of “Western” Virginia. Landmarks and monuments are scattered across the county — some of which (the Fairfax Stone and the Potomac Stone) have been the subject of land disputes between West Virginia and Maryland. Isolated chimneys stand as testament to the area’s settlers, and some of the buildings in downtown Davis and Thomas are more than a century old.
The National Register of Historic Places has officially recognized nine locations in Tucker County, including Cottrill’s Opera House in Thomas, the Tucker County Courthouse, and the Thomas Commercial Historic District.
“Tucker County was formed from Randolph County by an act of the General Assembly of Virginia on March 7, 1856,” (from the introduction to Cleta M. Long’s History of Tucker County).
Tucker County’s rich history is visible and pervasive in our culture. Exploring the county will make this evident. Mill buildings and coke ovens survive as unique landmarks from Tucker’s booming years of coal and timber industry. Corrick’s Ford Battlefield, on the edge of Parsons, marks the site where the first general of the Civil War died (Confederate General Robert S. Garnett), resulting in the Union control of “Western” Virginia. Landmarks and monuments are scattered across the county — some of which (the Fairfax Stone and the Potomac Stone) have been the subject of land disputes between West Virginia and Maryland. Isolated chimneys stand as testament to the area’s settlers, and our downtowns are filled with buildings more than a century old.
The National Register of Historic Places has officially recognized nine locations in Tucker County, including Cottrill’s Opera House in Thomas, Tucker County Courthouse, and the Thomas Commercial Historic District.
Resources and Publications
Stories of History
With more than 50% of Tucker County’s geography being protected lands, what remains is incredibly important to us here. We have three state parks — Blackwater Falls, Canaan Valley Resort, and Fairfax Stone — two designated wilderness areas — Dolly Sods and Otter Creek — the Canaan Valley Wildlife Refuge, and the Monogehela National Forest. The land here is transformed each season, and we like to take advantage of the outdoor opportunities surrounding us.
Locals and visitors alike tour the county’s natural resources by hiking, biking, fishing, hunting, bird watching, skiing, snowshoeing, sledding, tubing, rafting, birding, and more. There are endless outdoor opportunities in the county.
This is the land that we play in, but it is also the land we live in. Farmers markets, community gardens, food and farm initiatives, and a farm discovery center, combine to provide the county with fresh local foods and to educate the county and its visitors. Tucker County has honey makers, bread bakers, beer brewers, gardeners, farmers, and more. Whether you are a local or tourist, we hope you enjoy and learn from this land.
World-class outdoor activities await adventure seekers and nature lovers alike. More than half of Tucker County’s land is protected by federal, state, and private entities. Tucker County includes the northern reaches of the Monongahela National Forest with the Dolly Sods and Otter Creek wilderness areas, the Canaan Valley Wildlife Refuge, Blackwater Falls, Canaan Valley, and Fairfax Stone state parks; and several state wildlife management areas.
Transforming throughout each of the four distinct seasons, these treasured landscapes and the outstanding outdoor recreation opportunities they offer are incredibly important to residents and visitors.
Adventure and nature enthusiasts traverse these mountains and streams by hiking, biking, climbing, paddling, skiing, snowshoeing, sledding, birding, fishing, and hunting. Simply put, there’s a lifetime of outdoor opportunities within Tucker’s beloved borders.
This is the land that we play in, but it is also the land we live in. Farmers markets, community gardens, food and farm initiatives, and a farm discovery center combine to provide the county with fresh, local foods and educate the county and its visitors about its food network. Tucker County has honey makers, bread bakers, beer brewers, gardeners, farmers, and more. Whether you’re a local or tourist, we hope you enjoy, eat, and learn from this land.
board of directors
In 2017, a cultural tourism Performance Agenda was developed to guide the goals, objectives, and strategies guiding the TCCDA. Led by faculty and researchers at West Virginia University (WVU), the Performance Agenda was the result of data gathered from surveys and hours of interviews with county officials, business owners, residents, and tourists.
The primary goals in the agenda are to protect Tucker County’s cultural and historical resources, connect recreational, artistic, educational, and historical opportunities throughout the county; enhance cultural resources, and promote the unique elements that set Tucker County apart as a special destination.
Understanding the Performance Agenda
Tucker Culture is much more than simply the name of our organization. But what exactly is it? For some, it’s viewing the explosion of mountain laurel blossoms and six-foot-tall ferns in spring and walking among flagged red spruce trees and crimson bushes in fall. For others, it’s skiing or mountain biking by day and enjoying Appalachian fare, craft microbrews, and live music well into the evening.