A Guide to Historic Coal Towns of the Big Sandy River Valley

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Univ. of Tennessee Press, 2004 - Architecture - 350 pages
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The Big Sandy River Valley of Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia experienced a great coal boom at the end of the nineteenth century. The area attracted railroads, capital, corporations, and people. Isolated mountain communities became the sites of great mining operations, small regional commercial centers grew, and hundreds of coal company towns appeared almost overnight. Today, many of these once-vibrant coal towns are fading away, their populations a fraction of their heyday, their buildings, homes, and mine sites abandoned.

This guidebook takes the reader to some of these intriguing ghost towns. For each town, the author presents detailed directions and brief histories, notes what buildings and structures remain, and provides fascinating details about their people. A Guide to the Historic Coal Towns of the Big Sandy River Valley guides visitors through the streets and hollows of these communities, rich in Appalachian, African American, and immigrant culture. A must for anyone traveling through the valley, as well as for students of Appalachia, coal mining, railroads, and American history.

George D. Torok is a native of Buffalo, New York, and currently lives in El Paso, Texas, where he teaches history at El Paso Community College. He has published assorted works on Kentucky history, the early national era, and the American Southwest. When he and his wife Blanca are not touring the borderlands exploring program ideas for his television show Along the Rio Grande, they enjoy world travel, writing, photography, and the lifestyle of the American Southwest.

  

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Contents

Coal Coal Mining Coal Towns
57
WeilKept Miners Homes
81
Coke Ovens under Construction
94
Up the Tug Fork through
107
Edward Stone
110
Buskirk Cemetery across the Tug Fork
123
Coalwood West Virginia
140
Commercial District in Pocahontas
156
Coal Miner Henry Armour and Family
207
Commercial Heart of Hellier
221
Jenkins Coal Company Store circa 1920
238
Joe Begley at the C B Caudill Store
254
Harlan County and the Big Stone
257
Osaka Store
272
Cumberlands Commercial District
286
Homes along KY 160
299

Bluefield Railroad Yards
160
Coal Towns in East Kentucky
161
Store at Richardson
173
Mine Store at Van Lear
187
Glossary
303
Bibliography
329
Index
345
Copyright

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Page 335 - Work Relations in the Coal Industry: The Hand Loading Era, 1880-1930 (Morgantown: West Virginia University, Institute of Labor Studies, 1977), 77.

About the author (2004)

George D. Torok is a native of Buffalo, New York, and currently lives in El Paso, Texas, where he teaches history at El Paso Community College. He has published assorted works on Kentucky history, the early national era, and the American Southwest. When he and his wife Blanca are not touring the borderlands exploring program ideas for his television show Along the Rio Grande, they enjoy world travel, writing, photography, and the lifestyle of the American Southwest.

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