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Fayetteville, West Virginia facts for kids

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Fayetteville, West Virginia
Court Street in downtown Fayetteville
Court Street in downtown Fayetteville
Location of Fayetteville in Fayette County, West Virginia.
Location of Fayetteville in Fayette County, West Virginia.
Country United States
State West Virginia
County Fayette
 • Total 5.58 sq mi (14.46 km2)
 • Land 5.57 sq mi (14.43 km2)
 • Water 0.01 sq mi (0.03 km2)
1,818 ft (554 m)
 • Total 2,892
 • Estimate 
 • Density 488.07/sq mi (188.43/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 304
FIPS code 54-27028
GNIS feature ID 1538910

Fayetteville is a town in and the county seat of Fayette County, West Virginia, United States. The population was 2,892 at the 2010 census.

Fayetteville was listed as one of the 2006 "Top 10 Coolest Small Towns in America" by Budget Travel Magazine, and as "Best River Town 2013" by Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine.


Fayetteville was founded by Abraham Vandal, a Revolutionary War veteran and local farmer. The town was originally named Vandalia. The Fayette County Courthouse is located on part of the original Vandal farm. The town’s name was later (prior to 1837) changed to Fayetteville after the Revolutionary War hero, Marquis de Lafayette who toured the US in 1824/25.

During the Civil War, the majority of the people in Fayetteville were in sympathy with the Southern cause. Fayetteville changed hands several times during the war and was partially destroyed during the fighting.

In 1897, the Fayette County Courthouse was completed and is a remarkable example of the Romanesque Revival architectural style. The Altamont Hotel was built the same year. Both are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, along with the E. B. Hawkins House. The Fayetteville Historic District was designated in 1990.

Fayetteville grew rapidly in the late 19th century thanks mainly to the coal industry. The mining industry declined in the late 20th century. Fayetteville’s economy now is almost completely based on the tourism industry. Popular activities include white water rafting, fishing, mountain biking, and rock climbing in the region. Also, the New River Gorge Bridge hosts annual celebration, "Bridge Day," which is held on the third Saturday of October.

The New River Gorge Bridge is the longest arch bridge in the western hemisphere; its creation made traveling on US 19 much easier, turning a 45-minute sojourn from one side of the gorge to the other into a roughly 45-second jaunt. The New River is one of the five oldest major rivers in the world.


Fayetteville is located at 38°3′4″N 81°6′25″W / 38.05111°N 81.10694°W / 38.05111; -81.10694 (38.051181, -81.106961).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 5.47 square miles (14.17 km2), of which, 5.46 square miles (14.14 km2) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water.

Located less than a mile away from Fayetteville is the New River Gorge, which attracts outdoor recreation enthusiasts. The scenic cliffs that line the New River Gorge are popular for rock climbing. The New River offers Class I-IV whitewater rafting and kayaking. Hiking and biking trails in the area are also available. The New River Gorge National River, managed by the U.S. National Park Service, operates a visitors center and offers many educational programs in the area.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 413
1910 671 62.5%
1920 659 −1.8%
1930 1,143 73.4%
1940 1,347 17.8%
1950 1,952 44.9%
1960 1,848 −5.3%
1970 1,712 −7.4%
1980 2,366 38.2%
1990 2,182 −7.8%
2000 2,754 26.2%
2010 2,892 5.0%
2019 (est.) 2,720 −5.9%
U.S. Decennial Census
FayetteCtyCourthouse FayettevilleWV
Fayette County Courthouse

2010 census

At the 2010 census there were 2,892 people, 1,245 households, and 813 families living in the town. The population density was 529.7 inhabitants per square mile (204.5/km2). There were 1,366 housing units at an average density of 250.2 per square mile (96.6/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 95.8% White, 3.0% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.1% from other races, and 0.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.6%.

Of the 1,245 households 26.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.0% were married couples living together, 12.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 34.7% were non-families. 29.2% of households were one person and 13.1% were one person aged 65 or older. The average household size was 2.29 and the average family size was 2.79.

The median age in the town was 44.4 years. 19.7% of residents were under the age of 18; 6.6% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 24.3% were from 25 to 44; 30.9% were from 45 to 64; and 18.5% were 65 or older. The gender makeup of the town was 48.3% male and 51.7% female.

Notable people

  • Tunney Hunsaker - Professional boxer and longtime Fayetteville police chief
  • The five Sodder children – Pronounced dead after a fire destroyed the family home on Christmas Eve 1945, their parents and all but one surviving sibling came to believe they had instead disappeared. They erected a billboard on the outskirts of town to publicize the reward they offered for information that would resolve the case.
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