Uncle Bob's Travels

Places I've hung out in, sometimes briefly.

St. Paul VA

I call it São Paulo, for no particular reason.  We pass through here all the time, often a local Marathon outlet is a place Hiking Buddy does a “pee and tea”…taking a pee and buying an over-sugared (I don’t do sugar) bottle of some strange flavored tea, which he always says is too sweet.
Anyway, in 1939 the Norfolk and Western (now the Norfolk and Southern) and the Clinchfield (note that it’s “Norfolk and Western Railway” but “Clinchfield Railroad“…must be a story there.) got together to relieve the town of a chokepoint, to wit, where 4th street crossed the railroad.  Instead of raising the railroad, which would have proven to be complicated, the lines just lowered the street.  Works well,  Shot one is of the underpass from the town side, then a cu of the inscription (the 1939 date is there, but it’s relatively tiny).
On to a look at the historic Stonebriar Hotel and then the Lyric Theater.  St. Paul was the place to be once upon a time when coal was king.  And it’s still a pleasant, well-kept town.

Next is a look down 4th Street and a shot of one of two business/apartment buildings we noted that had open terraces for the people on the second floor.  Neat idea.

Back in 1912, according to a letterhead shown in James Goforth’s “Building the Clinchfield”, this was the Blue Sulphur Hotel, “Home for the Man of the Grip” (makes no sense unless you know that “grip” meant “suitcase”).  “A Well of Blue Sulphur Water at Entrance Free to Guests” (ick). Rates were $2 and $2.50 (the extra 50 cents got you a room with a bath).  “An elegant, high-toned stopping place for travelers.”  Acetylene light.  Telephone in each room.

And this is the old Lyric Theater.

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