Is the Kanawha River valley an extension of the Rust Belt or just an industrialized area beyond the Rust Belt?

Charleston in Winter. (Image by author)

The mouth of the Kanawha River flowing into the Ohio River at Point Pleasant, WV. (Jan. 2009 image by author)

Next to South Charleston perhaps the most industrialized town in the Kanawha Valley was Nitro, WV. Named after an explosives plant, Nitro still features a few remnants of a once great chemical industry, like the old Amtex plant pictured here. (Mar. 2009 image by author)

The offices of the Great Lakes Chemical Corporation in Nitro are in ruins. From the 1950s through the 1970s the Kanawha Valley was one of the largest producers of chemicals in the world. (Mar. 2009 image by author)

Where once a sprawling Great Lakes Chemical Co. plant once stood there are only these brownfield foundations. (Mar. 2009 image by author)

Ballfield next to the sprawling complex of Bayer in Institute, WV. One of several chemical plants in the Kanawha Valley, this one manufactures polyurethane. (Aug. 2007 image by author)

Industrial landscape of South Charleston, WV. (Sep. 2006 image by author)

Union Stamping and Assembly plant stamps steel body panels for automobiles in South Charleston, WV. At times it has been used by AMC (American Motors Corporation) and Volkswagen. (Feb. 2006 image by author)

The Union Carbide plant on Blaine Island dates back to the 1920s. (Apr. 2006 image by author)

Taverns in South Charleston, WV with the Dow / Union Carbide plant in the background. (Feb. 2009 image by author)

Another view of the Dow / Union Carbide plant. (Feb. 2009 image by author)

Detail of the Kanawha Valley chemical industry, in South Charleston. (Feb. 2009 image by author)

3:00 am near downtown Charleston.(Apr. 2007 image by author)

Charleston, WV. (Feb. 2009 image by author)

This Libby Owens Ford plant in Kanawha City made glass for automobiles until it was demolished in the 1980s. (Image courtesy of Charleston Gazette archives)

The most common freight on the Kanawha River by far is coal. The Amherst coal dock is on the left side of this photo. Other coal docks on the Kanawha include the Marmet, Winifrede, Chelyan, Quincy, and Mammoth docks. (Sep. 2006 image by author)

There are three locks on the river - Winfield, London, and, pictured here, Marmet. The Marmet Lock/Dam was built in 1934-35 and generates electricity through the three hydroelectric turbines within it. (Sep. 2006 image by author)

DuPont's Belle plant was built just after World War One and recently had the best safety record of all DuPont plants. The barges of an unrelated firm, Kanawha River Terminals, are in the foreground of the photograph. (Apr. 2006 image by author)

The flame on this flare at the Dupont plant has been burning my entire life. (Apr. 2007 image by author)

Evening mist over the industrial Kanawha Valley in West Virginia. (May 2009 image by author)

Barges full of coal in front of Kanawha River Terminal's Marmet Dock, with the Dupont Belle plant across the river in the background. (Apr. 2007 image by author)

The Elkem Metals plant at Alloy, WV produces ferroalloys for use in blast furnaces elsewhere. The plant was built in the 1911-13 era, with later additions, to replace an earlier one that burned in 1911. At that time the plant was owned and operated by EMCO, or the Electro Metallurgical Company, a division of Union Carbide. (May 2006 image by author)

Another section of the Elkem Metals plant. The facility is best known for its source of electricity. In the 1930s the nearby New River was dammed up at Hawk's Nest, and the river was diverted through a tunnel to a hydroelectric power station to produce power for the manufacture of alloys at the EMCO plant. Over 600 workers died from silicosis either during or after working on the tunnel. (May 2006 image by author)

Elkem Metals as viewed from across the Kanawha River. The river becomes non-navigable a few miles above this point. Elkem purchased the facility from EMCO in 1981. (May 2006 image by author)

At night the Elkem Metals plant lights up the area. (Sep. 2006 image by author)

Another portion of the Elkem Metals plant at night. (Sep. 2006 image by author)

The company town of Falls View, WV, built in 1930-31 for the employees of the EMCO ferroalloy plant. U.S. Route 60 is in the foreground. (May 2006 image by author)

(Image by author)