Williamson is declining in population and business today. The town's peak years were in the 1920's and 1930's when the population was over 10,000. By 1960, the population had dropped to 6,659. Today, the population is around 5,000. Large businesses, such as Hobbs, G.C. Murphy Co., and J.C. Penney have left the area. Numerous small businesses have gone under in the past decade as well. The town's oldest operating business, Strosnider Drug, closed on New Year's Day of 1993. The store was first opened in 1897. Today, the oldest business is Persinger Supply Co., opened in 1904.
In 1997, the Mountaineer Hotel was restored and again made the showplace of Williamson. Plans are underway to restore the Cinderella Theater, which closed in 1984. In the Cinderella, the seats have been removed and the floor leveled. The concession area remains in good condition. Fifteen years of inactivity have taken its toll on the Cinderella. Hopefully, it will be repaired soon.
Many of the old, beautiful structures have been demolished for "progress". Sadly, very little has been put back in their place. Over half of the historic buildings in the downtown area have been razed due to deterioration or flood protection. It is good, though, that a few places like the Mountaineer and the Cinderella are being preserved. Many of the large, spacious, turn-of-the-century homes are gone. The shrinking economy and population have taken their toll on the Tug Valley in the last thirty years.
Despite all these downfalls, Williamson is still a pretty nice place. It may not be as beautiful as it once was, but the history is still there.