Uncle Bob's Travels

Places I've hung out in or just neat postcards

Archive for the tag “Buchanan County VA”

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.


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.

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