Don’t be surprised if locals correct your use of the name Webster Springs. Throughout its history, the town of Webster Springs has been known by several names, including Addison and Fork Lick. The town’s post office is designated Webster Springs, but many residents continue to refer to the town by its legal name of Addison.
Webster Springs is the county seat of Webster County and home to the largest sycamore tree in the state. Although the tree suffered fire damage in recent years, it is still standing and can be viewed from a distance.
The town of Webster Springs has been a tourist destination for decades. Originally, visitors came to soak in the town’s baths and spas fed by the area’s salt and sulfur springs. Today, you can take a walking tour of the town on “A Stroll Through Webster Springs” and see merchandise from “the old days” on display at Carpenter’s 5 and 10 Cent Store. Stop by one of the local eateries for lunch or dinner, including The Custard Stand where you can experience what locals call “America’s Tastiest Hot Dog Chili.”
Each spring the Webster Wildwater Weekend River Festival draws whitewater enthusiasts to Webster Springs. This festival takes place in and around the town and features downriver and slalom races, recreational paddle trips and fun for everyone. Nearby Camp Caesar hosts an art and craft show, movie night and awards party.
Webster Springs takes center stage on Memorial Day weekend as woodchoppers and lumbermen from across the world compete in the annual Webster County Woodchopping Festival. Up for grabs is the title of “Southern United States World Champion Woodchopper.” This festival also features car, truck and motorcycle shows, art and crafts, Grand Feature Parade, West Virginia State Firemen’s Rodeo Championship and West Virginia State Turkey Calling Championship.
Columbus Day weekend brings about the International Burgoo Cook-off. Burgoo is a traditional stew that can be made with a variety of game, vegetables and spices and has been popular in the Webster Springs area for generations.
In 2009, Webster County placed first in the “Make It Shine” Clean County competition for the county’s efforts to preserve the environment. Webster County placed second in 2008. This award is presented by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.
Major employers include Webster County Board of Education, Webster County Memorial Hospital, Jim C. Hamer Lumber Company, Webster County Commission of Senior Citizens and Custard Stand Food Products.