Pocahontas Coalfield Early Recollections and Happenings Harriet Lathrop 1983 DJ

Pocahontas Coalfield Early Recollections and Happenings Harriet Lathrop 1983 DJ

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Pocahontas Coalfield Early Recollections and Happenings Harriet Lathrop 1983 DJ
Pocahontas Coalfield Early Recollections and Happenings Harriet Lathrop 1983 DJ
SEE PHOTOS  dust ajcket damage, staining on inside front page.
Hard Cover with Dust Jacket
By Harriot Lathrop
Published 1983
51 Pages
In 1881 when William and Harriet Lathrop arrived at "Powell's Bottom," later to be named Pocahontas, Virginia, it was a virtual wilderness, an impenetrable laurel thicket. One of the few habitations in the area was the mountain cabin of Squire William Taylor Moore in Abb's Valley, Virginia, some five or six miles from the new town of Pocahontas that was to be carved out of the forest. There they lived for three months until they could move closer to William Lathrop's work. Squire Moore was one of twelve children of James Moore, "The Captive," of the Moore massacre fame.
William Lathrop had been employed by the Southwest Virginia Improvement Company to open a mine in a virgin seam of coal that outcropped at Pocahontas. This remarkable seam of coal, later named the Pocahontas #3 seam, was some twelve to thirteen feet thick in this area with no partings: thirteen feet of clean coal accessible from the hillside.
When the Lathrops arrived, there were only a few scattered homes in this mountain country. Harriet recounts in her memoirs riding on horseback with Barbara Moore, daughter of Squire Moore, a woman about her age, to the top of Dividing Ridge separating Virginia and West Virginia at that point, and detecting no sign of human habitation as far as she could see in all directions. Within less than a decade, thirty-seven coal mining operations had been started in what was becoming a world famous seam of coal and the Town of Pocahontas, a brawling, frontier-like community, boasted a population of some 4,000 souls.
This volume, published under the auspices of The Pocahontas Coalfield Centennial Celebration, Inc., is presented to preserve recollections of those early days. It contains the memoirs of Harriet Lathrop, who came to Southwest Virginia as a bride at age 24 from a privileged background in New York City, who had never ridden a horse and who may never have seen coal before. It is a fascinating account of her adjustment to a thoroughly unfamiliar environment.
This volume also contains a reprint from The Norfolk and Western magazine of the article on the closing of the mine in 1955 that William Lathrop opened in 1882, almost three quarters of a century before. It also tells something of the growth of the company that was just starting then. And finally the volume contains recollections and family lore of Jordan Nelson, the blacksmith who first began the commercial use of Pocahontas coal, digging it from his "coal bank" on the hillside above his blacksmith shop to fire his forge and to sell for a penny a bushel to all who came to cart it away. Throughout the volume are rare photographs of early times in the Town of Pocahontas and in the Pocahontas coalfield.
The Pocahontas Coalfield Centennial Celebration, formed to commemorate in 1983 the opening of the famed Pocahontas Coalfield, has provided this book with the wish that the reader may experience the flavor and excitement of those robust early days.
Introduction 1
The Pocahontas Coalfield Centennial Celebration 5
"Pocahontas No. 1 Retires"  11
The Lathrop Memoirs  21
The Jordan Nelson Story 47
Schedule Of Events  51

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