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POWHATAN, WV

Yet another in the string of coal mining towns along Elkhorn Creek, Powhatan (POW-hatan, emphasis on the first syllable) was named after a Native American tribe that resided in Virginia. This seemed to go along with the Pocahontas, Hiawatha, Algonquin, Cherokee, etc. theme of this coalfield. Powhatan Coal & Coke Co. mined coal here from 1897 until 1937.



Thanks to Alan Cathead Johnston

The original Powhatan tipple must have been quite a sight.


Mar. 2022 image by author

The only thing remaining from the picture above is this ruined building. It is to the right of the tipple in the antique picture.


Mar. 2022 image by author

I also found this remnant at the former Powhatan tipple location.


Courtesy VT ImageBase, housed and operated by Digital Library and Archives, University Libraries; scanning by Digital Imaging, Learning Technologies, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Apparently the tipple was later rebuilt to more modern standards.


Apr. 2014 image by author

This style of coal camp house is called "Salt Box." It originated in the coal towns of Pennsylvania and Maryland.


Apr. 2014 image by author

Sacred Heart Catholic Church and rectory in Powhatan. When the Sacred Heart parish was founded in 1914 this valley would have been packed with Catholic immigrants newly-arrived from Europe. (The church structure itself may date to the 1890's.) Now this parish serves only 36 families according to the Diocese, probably descendants of the original immigrants from Poland, Italy, Hungary, etc.


Apr. 2014 image by author

View of the Powhatan coal camp from the Sacred Heart porch.


Mar. 2022 image by author

This was probably the superintendent's house. Apparently, no one lives in it anymore.


Mar. 2022 image by author

Original windows are still in place in the old superintendent's house.


Mar. 2022 image by author

The squared-off section on the side may have been an addition.


Feb. 2017 image by author

This Powhatan structure was once a tavern and Texaco service station.


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