A significant issue for the new river, is solid waste management. Hundreds of illegal dumps and roadside trash create both aesthetic and health and safety problems. The adopt-a-highway and the Fayette County Corrections Clean-Up Programs contribute to some extent to the Clean-Up of solid waste in the river, however, this will continue to be a serious problem for years to come.
The history of the New River Company begins with the story of Samuel Dixon, the man whose efforts cause the company to be formed. Dixon, a native of England, came to Fayette county in 1877. After working for his uncle at a mining operation near Montgomery, Dixon came to Macdonald in 1893 as a superintendent and general manager for the newly opened Macdonald Colliery Company. In the years that followed Dixon began working on his goal to build a great various coal lands in the local area. Within a relatively short period of time Dixon purchased many valuable coal lands, using his own money and that of investors. Sometime about 1900, Dixon formed the White Oak Coal Company, to market and sell the coal produced by mines he and his investors owned. In 1905 he put his holding together under the name of the New River Fuel Company. in 1906 the company's name was changed to the New River Company.
The New River is like a ribbon tying together all the people, places, and events sharing its course through time. New River Gorge National River protects a rich variety of this history: from the subsistence lives of the native peoples, and later pioneers, to the coming of the railroad and the many peoples involved in the ensuing boom and bust of the coal mining and logging industries. You can visit the remains of the former boomtown of Thurmond, retrace the path of pioneer Mary Draper ingles, amazing journey, learn of the legend and the facts of the " Steel Driving Man".