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Virginia’s Coal Towns
An Exhibition at the Library of Virginia
Originally Displayed April 2—October 27, 2001

C. R. Boyd, South West Virginia Resources (1881)
C. R. Boyd, South West Virginia Resources (1881)


Researcher: Vincent T. Brooks
Graphic Design: Melissa Q. Rosen
Acknowledgments: Robert R. Linkous
Tazewell County Public Library
C. Stuart McGehee, Eastern Regional Coal Archives
Pierre Courtois & Mark Fagerburg, LVA

In his diary on July 18, 1709, William Byrd of Westover remarked, "Tom returned from Falling Creek and brought me word all was well there and that the coaler found the coal mine very good and sufficient to furnish several generations." Coal has long been a significant part of Virginia's economy. From 1750, when coal was first shipped from Richmond to Philadelphia, Virginia’s coal attracted wider markets. With the opening of the coalfields in Southwest Virginia late in the 1800s, Virginia coal fueled coke ovens supplying the steel industry. By 1948 Virginia was producing almost 20 million tons of bituminous coal a year and ranked seventh in coal-producing states.

The Coal Fields | Life in the Coal Camps | Company Towns

Other Links of Interest:

Tazewell County Photographs

1939 World's Fair Collection

Dunbar, Va

Va Tech image database (Norfolk & Western)