Uncle Bob's Travels

Places I've hung out in, sometimes briefly.

Archive for the tag “bob lawrence”

Pocahontas VA

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.

Bulls Gap TN

Once called Branchville, then Rogersville Junction and, finally, Bulls Gap, after a Mr. Bull who ran a stage through the gap (this is all from the Bulls Gap town website).  As the website notes, the first railroad through here, built by slave labor in 1857, ran from Bristol to Knoxville, with a post-bellum line up to Rogersville.  These lines through here form a wye, with traffic coming out of the Virginia coalfields and heading to various locations.  This is the line that takes a sharp turn north at Mt. Carmel TN, almost seeming to recoil from any CSX traffic, and goes up to Frisco.

Welcome to Bulls Gap:

Next is Bulls Gap Town Hall.  To the right, just out of the picture, is the entrance to a railroad museum, which features a lot of interesting pictures, artifacts, and rail company displays.

And this dilapidated structure used to be a highly-regarded hotel…Gilley’s Hotel.  Next to it was Smith Hotel.  Don’t know a thing about that one.  This, I guess, is why they call this part of Bulls Gap “old town”.

Post Navigation