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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Pocahontas in Tazewell County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Pocahontas Mine No. 1

 
 
Pocahontas Mine No. 1 Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, June 10, 2017
1. Pocahontas Mine No. 1 Marker
Inscription. The Southwest Virginia Improvement Company opened Pocahontas Mine No. 1, the first to exploit the rich seams of the Pocahontas Coalfield, in 1882. An extension of the Norfolk and Western Railway soon followed, bringing industrial development to Southwest Virginia and linking it to Norfolk. The mine brought a mix of ethnic groups from neighboring states and Europe to the area, including African Americans, Hungarians, Italians, Russians, Germans, and Welsh. Miners produced about 1,000 tons of coal a day by 1883 In 1938, a closed section of the mine opened as the nation’s first Exhibition Coal Mine, which educated visitors about the industry. Mining operations ceased in 1955.
 
Erected 2012 by Department of Historic Resources. (Marker Number XP-9.)
 
Location. 37° 18.45′ N, 81° 20.764′ W. Marker is in Pocahontas, Virginia, in Tazewell County. Marker is at the intersection of Shop Hollow Road (County Route 659) and Boissevain Road (County Route 644) on Shop Hollow Road. Touch for map. It is at the Pocahontas Exhibition Mine and Museum. Marker is in this post office area: Pocahontas VA 24635, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Town of Pocahontas Commercial District
Marker at the Entrance to the Exhibition Mine image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, June 10, 2017
2. Marker at the Entrance to the Exhibition Mine
(approx. 0.4 miles away); Pocahontas Cemetery (approx. 0.6 miles away); Pocahontas (approx. 0.6 miles away); Abb’s Valley (approx. 0.6 miles away); Jordan Nelson’s Coal Bank (approx. 0.8 miles away in West Virginia); Bramwell (approx. 1˝ miles away in West Virginia); Mill Creek Coal & Coke Co. (approx. 1˝ miles away in West Virginia); West Virginia / Mercer County (approx. 2.3 miles away in West Virginia). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Pocahontas.
 
Also see . . .  Mining Pocahontas Coal - Working in a Coal Mine. Seven minute silent film from 1920 (below). An overview of coal mining activities in Virginia during the 1920s. Many scenes show the narrow gauge mining trains operating underground.

Pocahontas coalfield, which is also known as the Flat Top-Pocahontas Coalfield, is located in Mercer County, West Virginia, McDowell County, West Virginia and Tazewell County, Virginia. The coal seams—Pocahontas No. 3, No. 4, No. 6, and No. 11—are some of the best coal to be found in the world, and are rated at 15,000 Btu/lb (35 MJ/kg).

The earliest mining
Pocahontas Exhibition Mine Museum image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, June 10, 2017
3. Pocahontas Exhibition Mine Museum
of coal in the coalfield was in Pocahontas, Virginia, Virginia in 1883 at Pocahontas Mine No. 1, now on the National Register of Historic Places. This operation, replete with beehive coke ovens, eventually spawned the Pocahontas Fuel Company, which operated mines in Virginia at Boissevain and Amonate, and in West Virginia at Jenkinjones, Bishop, and Itmann. Later Pocahontas Fuel Company was absorbed into Consolidation Coal Company, which still mines coal at Amonate.

The mines at Pocahontas were able to ship coal when the Norfolk & Western Railway extended a branch line there. As this railroad was extended westward through Mercer and McDowell Counties the coalfield expanded with it. By the mid-1880s the Bramwell area was booming with mines at Coopers and Freeman.

Seven minute silent film.
(Submitted on July 3, 2017.) 
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceNatural Resources
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 3, 2017. This page originally submitted on July 3, 2017, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia. This page has been viewed 176 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on July 3, 2017, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia.
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