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Winter tour of Bramwell’s homes attracts hundreds

548d0b6bbbede.imageBRAMWELL, W.Va. — The historic homes of the millionaire coal barons who opened West Virginia’s Flat Top Coalfields still draw people from far and wide. After 31 years, the winter tour of historic homes continues to bring visitors in from far and wide.

“I’ve never been in this part of the country before,” Bren Pittsenbarger of Nicholas County said. “We came down here to see my grandson graduate from Concord University. He wanted to go to Christiansburg, Va., to eat at the Red Lobster. We went there and came here.”

All the parking places in town had been taken up when Pittsenbarger and his family took a pass through town. They dropped him off and drove about a mile out of the town limits to find a place to park.

“Is it always this crowded?” he asked as he stood in front of the town’s wooden frame 1889 town hall building.

“When the weather is nice like it is tonight, we’ll see a lot of visitors,” Betty Goins said. Goins was one of the original tour guides when town residents agreed to open their historic homes to visitors in 1983, acting on the suggestion of Beth A. Hager.

The tours — one in the winter and another in the spring — typically draw hundreds of visitors to the town of millionaires…

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