Pocahontas Times Print Shop
Built in 1900 specifically to house the paper, the Pocahontas Times Print Shop remains an example of early twentieth-century printing practices. The original handset press tools and furniture from 1901 are still held in the building. The National Register of Historic Places added the print shop to their database in 2010. Though no longer used by the Pocahontas Times, this structure is occasionally open to visitors and for school field trips.
Backstory and Context
The Pocahontas Times Print Shop is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and stands in Marlinton, West Virginia. In 1900, this building was constructed specifically for the newspaper’s use. The Pocahontas Times had been a fixture in the county since its first publication in 1882. It was and remains the primary source of local news in Pocahontas County and the surrounding area.
The paper’s founders were James “Buck” Canfield and Hezekiah B. Marshall who wrote and printed the first issue – an eight-page paper published in Huntersville. After ten years of weekly publications under a variety of owners, the paper was bought by the Price family patriarch Rev. William T. Price. The paper remained in Huntersville until it relocated to the newly constructed Pocahontas Times Print Shop in Marlinton in 1900. The decision to move was made around the time that Marlinton had been named the county seat. The Price family has owned and operated the paper since their initial purpose and continue to be involved in the production today.
The Pocahontas Times and print shop are notable for their use of machinery. The times used a handset type press from their conception, almost completely skipping the “hot metal” period. Though the press used a linotype metal-casting typesetting machine from 1901-02, they quickly returned to their original methods of printing. This adherence to the handset style made Pocahontas Times one of the last papers in the U.S. to be utilizing this method. Despite resisting change in the past, a flood in November 1985 which damaged their equipment led the times to be one of the first papers in the state to fully use computers.
Though the Pocahontas Times Print Shop is no longer used by the paper, it still contains much of the equipment from the early 20th century. The building as it has been preserved exemplifies printing practices from this period. It contains a variety of press tools, type-setters, desks and other items from around 1901. The Pocahontas Times Print Shop was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2010.
McNeel, William P.. Pocahontas Times. West Virginia Encyclopedia. October 22, 2010. Accessed March 21, 2019. https://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/1883.
Turley, C.E., Harding, James E.. Pocahontas Times Print Shop. National Register of Historic Places Inventory - Nomination Form. Accessed March 21, 2019. http://www.wvculture.org/shpo/nr/pdf/pocahontas/77001379.pdf.