Uncle Bob's Travels

Places I've hung out in or just neat postcards

Archive for the month “July, 2014”

Sulphur Springs School

The Dickenson County VA Historical Society kindly supplied me with the following information about this school (it wasn’t available anywhere on the web):
“Sulphur Springs School was built in 1875 on land donated by William Sutherland.  The original building was sold in 1907 to John Wright; a new building was erected in spring of 1907.  One of the first teachers listed was in 1877 – William F. Grizzle.
If you want more information, a story was written and appears in “The School and Community History” published by Mountain People and Places.  The Historical Society does have a few of these books for sale at $45 each, plus shipping and handling.  It is our understanding that no more of these books will be printed and we purchased these books used.”
Click here to go to the Dickenson County VA Historical Society.
The school is on Hwy 625 near Tiny VA at 37.10502, -82.23430:

Hurley VA Post Office

In the early years of the last century, Hurley was a big deal.  It was the headquarters in Buchanan County for the W.M. Ritter Lumber Company and a major station on the narrow-gauge BS&C (Big Sandy and Cumberland) railroad.  Google “History of the Railroad in Buchanan County VA” to read more about this era.
The town was, it is written, named for the family of S.B. Hurley, founder of the Mountain Mission Home for underprivileged and orphan children.
There’s not a whole lot left of Hurley.  There is, however, a Post Office, with a leaning flag pole.


Haysi VA Post Office

Mr. Hayter and Mr. Sypher ran a small store here.  Whether the store was called Haysi or, as in the case of Coeburn, someone else decided to do a name mashup after the fact, nevertheless, the community became Haysi.  This is the Post Office.


Davenport VA Post Office

We’re in Buchanan County and, once again, in a community that was named after the first postmaster.  According to R.M. Hanson’s “Virginia Placenames, Derivations, Historic Uses” (1969, McClure Printing Co.), a William Davenport was appointed postmaster here around 1885.  This is on Hwy 80, the Helen Henderson Highway.  She was a politician, was Ms. Henderson.

Birchleaf VA Post Office

I couldn’t find out a lot about Birchleaf, but there’s a Wiki entry here.


Nora VA Post Office

According to R.M. Hanson’s “Virginia Place Names, Derivations, Historical Uses” (1969 McClure Printing Company), Nora Dorton was the first postmistress.  The author goes on to note that Nora was originally named Mouth of Open Fork of McClure River (that’s a mouthful!) and was the earliest Dickenson County seat.  It later was called Ervinton.  Here’s the Post Office:



Jewell Smokeless Coke operation

This large coke operation is between Oakwood and Vansant VA in Buchanan County (that’s BUCK-anan County, son).  First time I saw this, I thought of Mordor from”Lord of the Rings”.  It was winter and the heat and steam coming off the numerous coke ovens was much more evident.  As it is, if you look carefully, you can see the heat waves coming out of the first tower.  That’s Dismal Creek flowing down the valley.  It joins Levisa Fork just behind where I’m standing.  Why “Dismal”?  The story is that soldiers camped here during the Civil War declared the area to be “dismal”.
This facility is now owned by SunCoke Energy.

AEP 1931

Over the door of this old substation control building is “19 A.E.P.Co. 31”.  I think this refers to “Appalachian Power Company”.   I can’t be sure,  because Appalachian Power Company was bought by American Gas and Electric Power Company (now AEP) in the late 20s.
This just off 460 on Red Ash Road northwest of Richlands VA at 37.11652, -82.87015.  Red Ash was a large coal operation back in the day.  Note the old power line support tower on the right.

Tiny VA

Sure is (there are just a couple of homes).  It’s actually listed along with Ervinton.  This is at the intersection of Hwys 625 and 687  in Dickenson County VA.

Post Navigation