Friends of the Cheat Receives Property Donation


Friends of the Cheat has received a donation of property including the historic wooden water tower associated with the former West Virginia Northern Railroad.  Stanley Hostler has donated approximately 2.5 acres of land and the water tower to the non-profit organization which is seeking to facilitate the revitalization of the properties associated with the former railroad into a public park and trailhead for the future Kingwood to Tunnelton rail-trail.  Mr. Hostler’s donation was motivated by the renewed community interest in the brownfield sites.  Kern Valley Railroad still retains ownership of the main shop buildings and railroad corridor.  Friends of the Cheat has been pursuing the purchase of the Kern Valley Railroad properties for nearly ten years.

FOC’s new OSM/VISTA (left), Aubrey Harris, stands with Appalachian Coal Country Team Northern Coalfields VISTA leader, Katie Coulter, next to the historic tower which is believed to be over a century old.

Friends of the Cheat is working closely with the Preston County Parks and Recreation Commission (PcPARC) and Preston County Economic Development Authority to advance the development of the properties located off Sisler Street in Kingwood.  The group held two brainstorming sessions in July to gather public input in an effort to develop a re-use plan for the properties.  Ideas include a trailhead and associated amenities for the future rail-trail, a dog park, community garden, and open air market for farmer’s markets, live music, and other community events with an underlying focus on highlighting the rich history of the railroad and how it shaped Preston County.  Friends of the Cheat’s first action will be to work with Preservation Alliance of West Virginia to stabilize and restore the water tower.


FOC_WVBrownfields Conference_FOCUS II Presentation

An artist’s rendering of the reuse vision developed by community members at two WV FOCUS-funded stakeholder meetings. Drawing by Mary Luckini.

Summer Send-Off Concert Update


Missing Your Cheat River Friends?

The weather is looking just perfect for Saturday’s Summer Send-Off Concert. Mostly sunny with a high of 82 degrees–this isn’t Cheat Fest weather!  Online ticket sales have ended but tickets are still available at the FOC office in Kingwood and both Black Bear Burritos locations in Morgantown through Friday afternoon.  Tickets are available at the gate for only $10.  Build a campfire and stay the night at Teter’s Campground by purchasing a $18 concert and camping package.

Morgantown Brewing Company and Thaibilly Kitchen will be offering tasty food and The Broken Tractor Winery will have wine available by the bottle with profits benefitting FOC!  Bring a blanket or chair, cooler (BYOB OK), and a friend to send summer off in style!

Gates open at 4pm. Remember to enter through Teter’s Campground off Beech Run Road, not the typical public festival entrance.  Parking is free. Please carpool and avoid bringing glass.

Interested in volunteering?  FOC still needs cleanup volunteers.  Contact Amanda at

Summer Send-Off Concert Flier


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Support FOC on #GivingTuesday

Donate to FOC's Education and Outreach Program on December 1st, 2021!