“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Mullens in Wyoming County, West Virginia — The American South (Appalachia)


America's Byways

— Coal Heritage Trail — National Coal Heritage Area —

Mullens Interpretive Panel image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. J. Prats, July 15, 2019
1. Mullens Interpretive Panel
Inscription.  Mullens can trace its roots back to 1894 when Andrew Jackson Mullins purchased 65 acres of land for $345. He soon built a cabin and in 1896 moved his 11 remaining family members here from McDowell County. The first Post Office was established in 1904, and the town began to flourish with the arrival of the Virginian Railroad in 1906. Once the Virginian laid track, Mullens saw rapid growth and expansion, becoming a hub of activity for the railroad as the coal mines of the region boomed. The town spread out in every direction, from the Guyandotte River to the south, Slab Fork Creek to the west, Third Street to the north, and the railroad to the east. Mullens became a thriving town as coal became king and the railroad expanded. The town was incorporated in 1912. The first coal mine in Wyoming County opened in 1913 just south of Mullens in Meade Poca (or South Mullens), and the Virginian opened its division terminal one mile southwest of town in Elmore.

In the midst of this growth period however, the business section of Mullens suffered three devastating fires in 1917, 1919, and again in 1920. These fires destroyed almost
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every business in town since most of buildings were constructed of wood. After the 1920 fire, city authorities passed ordinances requiring all buildings be constructed of fire resistant materials such as stone or brick.

Once the town was rebuilt, the growth continued as the coal boom lingered. By the mid 1920s, Mullens had three banks, three hotels, and a number of stores. The streets were paved, water, sewer, and electric services were available, and a total of five passenger trains stopped in town each day. Mullens served as the retail center for dozens of mines in the Winding Gulf Coalfield.
Erected by America’s Byways: Coal Heritage Trail, National Coal Heritage Area.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Railroads & Streetcars. A significant historical year for this entry is 1894.
Location. 37° 34.702′ N, 81° 23.325′ W. Marker is in Mullens, West Virginia, in Wyoming County. Marker is at the intersection of Guyandotte Avenue (West Virginia Route 16) and Lester Street, on the right when traveling west on Guyandotte Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Mullens WV 25882, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Mullens Historic District (here, next to this marker); The Richest Little Railroad in the World (here, next to this marker); Itmann Company Store
Five Interpretive Panels in Mullens image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. J. Prats, July 15, 2019
2. Five Interpretive Panels in Mullens
This panel is the center panel.
(here, next to this marker); The Virginian Arrives (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Mullens (within shouting distance of this marker); Virginian Railway Motor Barn (approx. half a mile away); Virginian Railway Station (approx. half a mile away); a different marker also named Mullens (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Mullens.
More about this marker. Two images are on this interpretive panel. The mail image across the bottom is a sketch of the A.J. Mullins family homestead. To the left is a portrait of A.J. Mullins.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 9, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 26, 2019, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 214 times since then and 59 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 26, 2019, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.

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Sep. 29, 2023