The Virginia coal industry started here, in Pocahontas. The N&W railroad hauled the first load out in 1888, apparently from this mine:
The early streets in the downtown area were paved with bricks. The sort of main downtown area, where the rail yard was, is fairly flat, but these buildings and the old, now derelict, homes perch precariously on a steep grade. A fire devastated the downtown and a lot of the buildings are now just shells. These are on St. Clair Street.
The far building has this plaque on it. It says, “The Opera House, 1895, Upstairs. The first theatre in this region. The latest Broadway shows, Operettas & Vaudeville acts played here in the early days.”
But I got my biggest kick out of seeing the pair of buildings below. They’re on Centre Street, just across from the Police Department. The building on the left has an 1894 date on top. I think the sign “The Cricket” is recent. The building on the right, however carries three interesting bits on top: 1883, S. Cohen, Elkhorn Saloon.