Uncle Bob's Travels

Places I've hung out in, sometimes briefly.

Amonate VA

Okay, let’s get this stated first: the locals tell us it’s pronounced ammo-NOT-uh. The local historian wasn’t available when we were there, so we don’t know the origin of the name. It doesn’t appear to be Italian nor Spanish.  Naming of coal towns was often capricious.
The town is northeast of Bandy VA on 624 about a mile or so from the West Virginia line.  Consol owns a huge tract of coalfield around here.  It’s all met (metallurgical) coal, reportedly 250 million tons of it.  A press release from 2011 stated that Consol was opening up its mine here and expected to be bringing out over 400,000 tons per year.   The locals that we talked to didn’t know anything about this.
Here’s one of the churches, maybe the only one:

Street view:

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15 thoughts on “Amonate VA

  1. Krys Thompson on said:

    Legend is that Amonate is an American Indian name. See, http://womenshistory.about.com/od/pocahontas/p/pocahontas.htm

    The church you have pictured is Amonate Freewill Baptist Church. There is another church in town, although I’m not sure services are still held there. Many6 years ago, there was also a separate church for the people of color.

    My mother was born in Amonate and I spent many years there growing up, as well. Let me know if you have any questions about the town.

    • Thank you! We were in Pocahontas on Sunday and I’ll check that site. We purchased several coal town books when we were up on Bramwell WVA later on Sunday.
      Is my shown pronunciation of the name right? Thank you for the offer of more information…I’ll surely take you up on it! Again, thank you!

  2. Katrina Stanton-Dorsery on said:

    Donald Dykes was the preacher of the other church that was purched on the hill. That church was known as the “Black Church”, as only black people attended that church. I attended that church, small but quaint. Can’t find those any more. I was born and raised in Amonate until the age of 17 when I moved to Louisville, Kentucky. I grew up three houses from those churches. House number 41 if I’m not mistaken. I do believe Boyd Montaigne now owns my old house. I remember we use to be able to walk up the street pass a ballfield to get water from the spring whenever the water was turned off in the camp. I was there five years ago and the spring was still there. We were a family of five girls and one boy raised by a single parent living in a two bedroom house. I loved every minute of it. I can see if I can get some more information on the church if you need any. I would love to see a book done on this old place. I’m sure it has a lot of history. Stanton’s grew up there, Hicks, Ratcliffs, Crocketts, Blands, Griffins, Breedins, Brewers, Monks, Hairstons, Dykes, McDonalds, Martins, Prices, Honakers, and Sizemores.

    • I appreciate your comments! Thank you for taking the time to write them and I agree it’s a historic place (“Amonate” was another name for the woman known as “Pocahontas”).

  3. Rob Beavers on said:

    Amanote also had its own post office, theater and school. My father and grandfather grew up in the Bandy area and my grand father died in a coal mine in Amanote in 1947.

    • Helen Tabor on said:

      I knew a Mrs. Lowman. She was always very nice to the kids. She lived 3 doors down from us. We lived directly in front of the big two-story church. Mrs. Lowman used to buy wildfire flowers from us. I believed that she worked at the company store.

      • Jackie Turner on said:

        We lived on the other side of you all. granny Turner lived the next house down. I remember you well and have thought of you all often.

  4. Audrey Boothe Aunspaugh on said:

    I was born in Amonate W.Va. My family was Wiley & Reba Lowman my grandfather worked in the mines. Margaret Lowman was my Mom Clyde Boothe was my Dad he was raised on Dry Fork,His Dad was Otis his Mom was Telia Whitt.
    My Dad worked at Amonate until 1957 he was with Pocahontas Coal until he retired 42 years . I have 2 sisters 1 brother . We are Audrey Betty Phyllis Clyde ( Buzzy)Nickname. The Church was a Methodist Church We all Went there until we moved to Tazewell Va in 1955.

  5. Cletis Neal on said:

    My name is Cletis Neal, and I was born and raised in Amonate, VA; father was Charles Neal, mother Jessie Neal; brothers: Charles, James, Don, Larry, sisters Shirley, Loretta, Linda, Peggy. Anyone out there know our family?

  6. Helen Tabor on said:

    My name is Helen Tabor. I lived in Amonate, Va until I was 11 years old. I loved it there. My daddy was a coalminer for 27 years. My daddy was Herman Tabor and my mother was Ruby Tabor. They had 5 children, three girls and two boys. We lived directly in front of the big two story church on what I believed was Amonate Street. We had a company store where we bought groceries, clothes, and shoes. We had our own doctor, Dr. Fleming. I have visited several times since living there.

  7. Cletis Neal (for Linda Lewis) on said:

    My name is Linda Lewis, maiden name Linda Neal, my brothers are Charles, James, Don, Larry, sisters Shirley, Loretta, and Peggy. I love hearing all these posts! Is Frances Stevenson out there anywhere? She was so kind to me in school at Richlands HS. She lived in a big house in Bandy on the curve. Would love to hear from her!

  8. Pat Sparks Ray on said:

    My daddy, Jay Sparks worked in the Amonate coal mines. We lived on Dry Fork just up the road from Dix Creek. I went to school with a couple of girls, Regina Fields and Dorcus Blankenship who lived in Amonate. We went to Rivermont school. I used to go over to Amonate with daddy where he bought moonshine from a man. I stayed all night with Regina one night. My name is Pat Sparks Ray.

  9. Helen Tabor on said:

    I loved living in Amonate. (11 years). My daddy was a coal miner there. I felt we were a close knit community. I went to Baldwin Elementary. The only girl I really remember going to school with was Carolyn Roberts. Our family lived across from the two story church. The neighbors I remember were the Grays (he was a supervisor at the Company store), Mary and Steve Burnett, M’s. Lowman, the Lefflers, and a black man by the name of Herbert Gaines. He and my daddy were both ham operators and were good friends.

    As for the correct pronunciation of Amonate…I remember my daddy giving his location to other ham perators and he would say it was pronounced as “I Amma notta going to do it”.

    It is enjoyable hearing from others that lived there.

  10. Jackie Turner on said:

    We lived up #31 hollow in Amonate. Dad worked for Poca Fuel and was a foreman there until they closed the mine. Clyde Boothe was our next door neighbor. The Davis, the beavers, Granny Turner, Lester Turner and the Blevins all lived in the row of houses before the bridge. Dad played on a baseball team there for awhile.There was a ball field, the Methodist church and the Dr office. My aunt Maggie Turner worked at the restaurant under the company store. The Dr’s name was Dr. Jackson. I attended Baldwin School until the 3rd grade when we moved to Baptist Valley. I would like to hear from some of the ones who has lived there. The coal trains went up and down the edge of the hillside across the creek behind our house there.

    • Helen Rankl on said:

      Jackie, I remember the restaurant very well which was located under the Company Store. They had the BEST hot dogs there. I loved that little town. I always felt safe there, no matter how hard the times could be. Please feel free to email me if you receive this. helen Tabor

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