Weston is at town in Lewis County, West Virginia, United States. The population is approximately 4,300. It is the county seat of and home to several popular tourist attractions including the West Virginia Museum of American Glass and the Weston State Hospital, now known as the Trans-Allgeheny Lunatic Asylum (TALA). Weston was founded in 1818 as Preston; the the name changed to Flesherville soon after for Henry Flesher; and then to Weston on 1819. It was incorporated in 1913.
Weston sits at the intersection of two major highways, Interstate 79 and Corridor H. Major employers are the Lewis County Board of Education and Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital. The Weston State Hospital moved from its location within the city limits to a location a short way past the city limits in the mid 1990s.
Weston is home to several notable tourist attractions including the Trans Allegheny Lunatic Asylum (TALA), the West Virginia Museum of American Glass, and the Military Museum. These locations bring in thousands of visitors each year.
City of Weston: History
At the beginning of the Civil War, Union soldiers stole money, which belonged to the state of Virginia from the Weston bank. The money was transported to Wheeling and was used in the establishment of the new state of West Virginia. The former bank is located on Center Avenue and is still used by attorney Hunter Bennett. The stolen money was stored at the bank to pay for the building of the Trans Allgeheny Lunatic Asylum. A lawsuit between West Virginia and Virginia about the stolen treasure was not settled until the 1920s.
Weston has two national historic districts: the Weston Downtown Historic District and Weston Downtown Residential Historic District. Other buildings on the National Register of Historic Places are the Jonathan M. Bennett House and Weston Colored School.
City of Weston: Notable Natives
William Thomas Bland - Congressman
Andrew Edmiston, Jr. - Congressman
John William Hamilton - Bishop
Buddy Hayes - Musician
Rush D. Holt, Jr. - Congressman
Lewis Maxwell - Congressman
Alexander Scott Withers - Author
Fred Wyant - Football Player
City of Weston: Weston State Hospital
The Weston State Hospital sits on more that 300 acres in Weston. As many as 2000 patients were housed in the old Hospital at one time. The state of Virginia began building the Hospital in the 1850s. Work was halted during the Civil War and was finished shortly after. The Hospital was based on a style of institution, which was self-contained with its own dairy farm, beef farm, greenhouse, and even a cemetery. The thought was that having patients in a rural, pastoral setting would help with their health.
Weston State hospital was closed in 1994 and clients were moved to new location outside of the City. The new hospital was named the William R. Sharpe Hospital in honor of the late State Senator William R. Sharpe. The historic structure was bought in 2007 and the new owners have worked to fix and stabilize the building.