Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Ansted in Fayette County, West Virginia — The American South (Appalachia)
 

Hawk's Nest Tunnel Disaster

 
 
Hawk's Nest Tunnel Disaster Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Wintermantel, May 14, 2021
1. Hawk's Nest Tunnel Disaster Marker
Inscription.  In 1930 the Union Carbide and Carbon Corporation was in the process of building its new electrometallurgical plant in nearby Boncar (later known as Alloy). It was decided a hydroelectric power station would be constructed near Gauley Bridge with a tunnel built néar Hawks Nest. This tunnel would divert the water of the New River to provide the needed energy to rotate the turbines. Work soon began on the three mile long Hawks Nest Tunnel, which is still considered a marvel of engineering. For the most part, the tunnel was completed in December of 1932, only eighteen months after construction began. Workers dug from each end of the tunnel and when they met the center lines were only off one inch.
Nearly 5,000 men worked on this project, with 3,000 of them working underground. Some were from the local area, but many were African Americans who had migrated, mostly from the southern states, in search of steady work. Completion of this tunnel came at a great cost however. As they cut their way through the mountain, workers were exposed to high levels of pure silica dust. Combined with the confined space, poor ventilation, and lack of breathing
Hawk's Nest Tunnel Disaster Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Wintermantel, May 14, 2021
2. Hawk's Nest Tunnel Disaster Marker
Click or scan to see
this page online
protection, the results were disastrous. By 1936, more than 400 deaths had been attributed to silicosis contracted while working in the tunnel. However, some believe that the actual number could be as many as 2,000 as indicated in a 1936 Congressional report which revealed there were another 1,500 men suffering from silicosis contracted while working in the tunnel. The Hawks Nest Tunnel disaster remains the worst industrial disaster in United States history. The tunnel and the power station are still in use today.
 
Erected by America's Byways and National Coal Heritage Area.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: DisastersWaterways & Vessels. A significant historical month for this entry is December 1932.
 
Location. 38° 8.124′ N, 81° 5.903′ W. Marker is in Ansted, West Virginia, in Fayette County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of East Main Street (U.S. 60) and Holley Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Ansted WV 25812, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Did You Know? (here, next to this marker); History Around the Cupola (here, next to this marker); William Nelson Page (a few steps from this marker); Hawks Nest Strike (a few steps from this marker); Jackson's Mother (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct
Paid Advertisement
Click on the ad for more information.
Please report objectionable advertising to the Editor.
line); New Haven Veterans' Memorial (about 400 feet away); Westlake Cemetery (about 600 feet away); Tyree Tavern (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ansted.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 15, 2021. It was originally submitted on May 15, 2021, by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 39 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on May 15, 2021, by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Share This Page.  
Share on Tumblr
m=173337

Paid Advertisement
Jun. 19, 2021