Print | Back to e-WV The West Virginia Encyclopedia

Rosbys Rock


Rosbys Rock is located in Marshall County about seven miles southeast of Moundsville on Big Grave Creek Road. It marks the spot near where on Christmas Eve, 1852, the last spike was driven to complete the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad from Baltimore to the Ohio River, the first rail line linking the Atlantic coast to the Ohio Valley.

Although there was no golden spike, there was a great celebration a few weeks later in Wheeling to commemorate the completion of the railroad and the arrival of the first train. To mark the spot where the final spike was driven the following words were carved upon the rock: Rosbbys [sic] Rock Track Closed Christmas Eve 1852. The stone itself is a huge sandstone rock of 900 cubic yards, about 64 feet long and 20 feet thick.

The nearby village, also called Rosbys Rock, greatly expanded with the advent of the railroad. Eight passenger and eight to 12 freight trains passed through every day at the height of service. The last passenger train made its final run through Rosbys Rock on October 26, 1957. After the final freight runs in 1972–73, the line was abandoned and removal of the tracks and bridges began in 1974.

With the railroad gone, Rosbys Rock returned to being a small town with only one general store and a few homes. Now even the store is gone. But the village and its great rock remain, reminders of a busier time.


  1. Cometti, Elizabeth & Festus P. Summers. The Thirty-Fifth State: A Documentary History of West Virginia. Morgantown: West Virginia University Library, 1966.

  2. Sedosky, Dorothy Dakan. "Rosbys Rock," in , History of Marshall County. Moundsville: Marshall County Historical Society, 1984.