Bramwell, WV

Bramwell, WV once home to the most millionaires in the nation now has less than 300 residents

Sara B

Bramwell, West Virginia, is located in Mercer County and was a turn-of-the-century coal mining town. Bramwell's claim to fame is that it once had more millionaires per capita than anywhere else in the United States.

To be precise, 14 millionaires were living in Bramwell. It is also home to the Historic Bank of Bramwell, which at one point was the wealthiest bank in the entire country for its size.

At the turn of the century, over 4,000 people lived in this small coal town, and now there are approximately 281 residents. However, the Victorian houses remain.

Bramwell is one of the few flat spots in West Virginia and is half a mile wide and 4 miles long. Once home to a busy train station, a prosperous bank, and an active high society, however, Bramwell's fortune crashed along with the stock market crash in 1929.

Bramwell was settled in the late 1800s and was named after J.H. Bramwell a New York civil engineer and Bramwell's first postmaster. One thousand eight hundred seventy-three, the West Virginia coal fields started in Bramwell and extended over forty miles.

The wealth in Bramwell came from the Pocahontas coalfields, which employed 100,000 miners. At one point during the good old days, 14 trains a day stopped in Bramwell.

However, what makes this town so historically famous is its claim to having 14 millionaires once residing in Bramwell. The homes are still there; some have been turned into bed and breakfasts, and others private dwellings that will sometimes open to the public.

It is a town built on coal whose fortune crashed with the stock market. The town was included in the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.

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