On June 23, 1944, the deadliest tornado outbreak in West Virginia history nearly destroyed the Harrison County community of Shinnston. Sixty-six people died in and around the town, with victims ranging in age from 85 years to only 6 days. Overall, the outbreak killed 103 West Virginians and seriously injured another 430.
The storm started about 8:30 p.m. It first struck the farming communities northwest of Shinnston and moved on to the town’s Pleasant Hill section, where only 10 houses were left standing. It then carved a path through Marion, Taylor, Barbour, and Randolph counties.