Getting to Know St. Paul
We are a place of extraordinary natural beauty, where the pristine Clinch River serves as the lifeblood of our community. St Paul was founded along the banks of the Clinch in the center of a region filled with natural treasures, from our southern rolling hills, to the mountain peaks and coalfields of our north. Our history has moved with the gentle flow of the River, and our future is defined by the environmental riches the River continues to provide for us. We are a humble community that values our unique history. Our historic downtown reminds us of the early twentieth century booms, but our past goes much deeper. The earliest settlers came in the late 1700s, including French immigrants of noble blood escaping royal oppression, and they found sanctuary here. The moving nature of the Clinch fueled the vision of twin cities on its banks. While “Minneapolis” never developed, the community of St Paul grew and prospered. We were the gateway to the frontier, and the stories of our Western Front are legendary, where saloons gave rise to debauchery, fights, and even murder. The mischief of those early days are long gone, but the dynamic nature and pioneer spirit of our people remains. We are the stewards of this glorious River, and the rich ecosystem that it feeds. As the ecological epicenter of Southwest Virginia, it is our charge to not just preserve what we have, but help it thrive. And we are doing that today, from the shores of Blue Bell Island, to the trails of Sugar Hill, from Oxbow Lake to Estonoa, which was once a virtual wasteland, but now serves not only a testament to our community’s resolve, but also the foundation of our future. The project is a national model, moving environmental education forward, and has become a part of our children’s lives, as well as a source of pride for our community.
We are St. Paul, and we are excited about our future. Our friends and neighbors are moving forward. We have a vision for our future, and are investing our blood, sweat, and tears in realizing that vision. And signs of success surround us, from the restored Hillman House to the Shelter at Market Square. We are the ecological hub of the region, and are set to become the economic hub as well, cultivating an entrepreneurial environment, and engaging persistent and passionate people that are known for getting things done, no matter what.
We invite you to come and visit us. Be our guest. Paddle our waters, and hike our trails. Soak in the nature that abounds and experience all the opportunities that make the Clinch River Valley the place where America Goes Outdoors.
St. Paul, Virginia, A Moving River Experience.
Chartered in 1911, St. Paul is nestled in one of the most beautiful, diverse areas of southwest Virginia. Located in the southeastern corner of Wise County and the western side of Russell County, the community enjoys a caring, small town atmosphere with deep-seated heritage.
Once dependent upon the Appalachian coalfields for economic vitality, St. Paul's community has overcome the decline of coal mining by concentrating their efforts on revitalization through the value and benefits of the unique environmental setting in and around St. Paul and the importance and appreciation of the diversity of the river valley called home.
St. Paul's economic base is well balanced and growing with a commitment of both residents and businesses to environmental protection and excellence. The Nature Conservancy continues to partner with St. Paul to help maintain the goal of being a national model for environmentally friendly revitalization, promoting nature-based tourism and growing commercial business while maintaining the small town way of life St. Paul is known for. There's no better place to live and do business than amidst the beauty of the Appalachian Mountains on the shore of the Clinch River. But don't take our word for it... come see for yourself!
For more on the history of St. Paul, local writer/hihstorian, Jerry Couch, shares the first 100 years of St. Paul from his unique point of view. You may find some of his writings on his blog, http://sphistory.wordpress.com/.
Future Plans / St. Paul Tomorrow
In 1998, with the help of the Nature Conservancy, a group of local residents established "St. Paul Tomorrow." The group's purpose is to create a vision of the future for the town, both environmentally and economically, and lay out a clear plan on how to get there. St. Paul Tomorrow is a reflection of its community. The members are linked together through the local high school, churches, businesses, town council, family, friends and neighbors. This show of support and interest has provided St. Paul Tomorrow with a strong community network.
A. R. Matthews Memorial Park
A. R. Matthews Memorial Park is one of the most used recreational sites in St. Paul. It includes a baseball field, tennis courts, basketball courts, playground, 2 open-air stages, public restrooms and a boat launch/dock. The most recent addition is our skateboard park. Covered picnic areas may be reserved through the town for no charge for large parties or groups. The park is included in the Downtown Revitilization Project and The Clinch River Initiative. Click on the St. Paul Tomorrow tab above for more information and exciting plans!
St. Paul enjoys mild weather and the natural beauty of the changing seasons. The town is situated in the heart of the Clinch Valley, protected from most severe weather situations. Average daytime temperatures range from mid-70's to high-80's during the summer months and from low-30's to 50's during the winter with occasional overnight temps in the "teens." We enjoy light snow at times during the winter and early spring.
|St. Paul, VA
Updated Friday, April 28, 2017 3:10 PM
Wind: 9 mph mph
Ecology / Recycling
St. Paul provides a recycling center downtown (across from the Town Hall) for paper, glass, plastic and aluminum. To learn more about St. Paul's commitment to preserving the diverse ecosystem of the Clinch Valley, The Nature Conservancy partners with St. Paul in preserving the area's natural resources, both in and around the town, now and for future generations.
Wetlands Estonoa is an ongoing project of Castlewood High School. It offers numerous opportunities for members of the high school to bring a part of St. Paul to learning centers as far away as San Francisco, California. Team Estonoa was presented the EPA's Region III Presidential Environmental Youth Award by President George Bush at the White House in 2005. The area offers a walking path, floating dock and features an indoor learning center that can be used for luncheons or other events. For more information, visit http://www.wetlandsestonoa.org
Oxbow Lake is a vital part of the community of St. Paul. Oxbow's recreational area serves as a walking and biking path, a fishing and a picnic area. Area schools also use its mile-round path to hold cross-country meets throughout the season.