We were planning to come up to Richlands, Virginia, anyway, so I checked the internet to see what I could find out about the town. Uh-oh. Zip. Nichevo. Nothing except a mostly dead-linked town site that appears to have been abandoned in the last couple of years. This town deserves better. It’s an interesting town and friendly, with a long history, as shown by this historic marker
And, I was advised, it is Rich-lands, not Rich-lunds. The N&W (now N&S) is still active in the town, working mines in the surrounding area, but timber came before coal to help grow this town. And when the coal companies came to town, growth accelerated. And, then, in the 1970s, things began to wind down. The town remembers its miners, though, with a memorial at the Town Hall:
The Town Hall sits just to the left of this memorial. Here’s a look at it:
On this hill in the center of town was once a college, then a hospital, which this building emulates. If you turn 180 degrees, you’ll see right down Suffolk Street.
That’s a funeral home on the right. I went down there and talked with the funeral director (you can just see him standing there with two other men as they prepared for a funeral). He was quite helpful is getting me to the right places for information on the town. One street over, Norfolk Street, there’s an interesting mural done by students at the local branch college:
Just to the right of that mural, about a block over and one block down, is another mural, painted by Ellen Elmes, who also painted a mural in downtown Kingsport TN.
This depicts the history of Richlands.
So, that’s some of Richlands. Ever heard of Jewell Ridge, Virginia? You will, in my next post.