Key Riparian Area Preserved in Raleigh County

Key Riparian Area Preserved in Raleigh County

The LUSD Clinic recently completed a project in partnership with the Raleigh County Historical Society to preserve a valuable riparian area of Piney Creek in Raleigh County.

The area is the site of the Beckley Mill, where the Beckley family first settled in what was then a wilderness in western Virginia. The Beckley family established a gristmill near a waterfall on Piney Creek, and later played a key role in establishing the City of Beckley itself.

The area is in the midst of the scenic Piney Creek watershed. Piney Creek is a significant tributary of the lower New River. It provides important access and recreational opportunities for the public.

The area came into the City of Beckley’s ownership in the mid-20th century. However, in recent years, the ownership of the property was in question. That’s when the Raleigh County Historical Society contacted the LUSD Clinic for assistance. The Historical Society wished to clear up ownership issues to preserve the area’s history and provide protection for Piney Creek.

Clinic faculty and students conducted an exhaustive title examination of the property and provided detailed information to the Historical Society about ownership of the site. With that information, the Historical Society successfully cleared up lingering questions about the property’s ownership. With title to the property now clearly in public hands (the City of Beckley), the Historical Society is working closely with the City to properly preserve the Beckley Mill site.