Rock Cave, WV: Flourishing Historic Community

Rock Cave Veteran’s Memorial, located at the “Y”, honors community members who served in the armed forces throughout the course of our nation’s history. Photo by John Clise

By John Clise

The thriving community of Rock Cave, with a population of approximately 1,000 people, is an unincorporated community in southern Upshur County, West Virginia, United States, located at the junction of WV Route 4 and WV Route 20.

Throughout the community’s long and rich history, Rock Cave has been known as Bob Town, Centerville, and Centreville, among others. According to historical accounts, its name is a corruption of Rock Lava, which referred to rocks purportedly of volcanic origin unearthed near the town site.

Further, according to historical accounts, it was originally part of Lewis County and settled during the years 1830 to 1849, primarily by pioneers from Virginia counties to the east. In 1849, a post office located there was known as Rude’s Mill, for Edwin Rude, first postmaster. In 1858, the name was changed to Rock Cave, although the settlement was still known as Centreville, a name which was refused by the Post Office Department because it would cause confusion with other towns of the same name.

The community and area are heavily promoted by the Southern Upshur Business Association (SUBA) was formed in 1984 to promote the growth and prosperity of the business segment of Southern Upshur County. SUBA also sponsors the annual Rock Cave Christmas Parade.

SUBA meets at the Rock Cave Civic Center. Yes, this community even has a civic center for a multitude of events.

Rock Cave is served by the Banks District VFD, located in the heart of downtown, whose mission is to provide maximum protection of life and property through the prevention and extinguishment of fires, performance of emergency medical services, rescue response, and hazardous material response to the citizens of Southern Upshur County and surrounding areas.

With so many smaller communities losing their post offices, Rock Cave still has a post office location serving area residents with thew 26234 zip code.

Rock Cave Elementary School is the pride of southern Upshur County serving pre-k through 5th grade. As of 202 it was serving 134 students.

Rock Cave Elementary School collectively commits to build student performance, communicate continuous improvement to all stakeholders, as well as embed opportunities for students to perform and work holistically. Based on our collected evidence and documented progress, teachers adjust instructional practices to enhance student achievement.

The mission of RCES is to provide quality education through a safe, student-centered learning environment in a respectful, caring atmosphere. RCES will provide developmentally appropriate instruction to close the achievement gap among our students. Collecting evidence and documenting progress will ensure that our students have had sufficient time and instruction to become college and career ready.

Rock Cave also boasts a great healthcare facility, Tri-County Health Clinic, offered through Community Care of West Virginia.

Community Care of Rock Cave has been serving Rock Cave and the surrounding area since 1984.  We offer an array of medical services including comprehensive primary care and chronic disease management for the entire family.

Rock Cave is also home to a fantastic IGA store that has been serving the community for many years and has recently undergone a major renovation. If you need it, you can likely find it there.

Rock Cave is home to many businesses and a rich history that is definitely worth visiting to see and experience.

Just a few miles away, in French Creek, you’ll find the West Virginia Wildlife Center. Other nearby attractions include Fidler’s Mill and the French Creek Methodist Church.

Click on the photos below to learn more.


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