(taken in October, 2014)
When I was a kid, my stepdad mentioned a zinc mine in Treadway TN. This is it, but this one picture doesn’t do justice to the rather large site of the Flat Gap Zinc Mine. The zinc mined here went up to Pennsylvania to be smelted. But, in the mid-20th century, the price of zinc plummeted. In April of 1961, the New Jersey Zinc Company closed this place down. Well, the outstanding amount of ground water they encountered had something to do with the closing, too. This is a replacement building for the metal building further up the hill. It went up in smoke at some point.
The right side of this building has seen its share of garage sales, apparently, and, on occasion, occupation by vagrants or merrymakers.
The left side of the building abuts a horse exhibition area. It appears, from assorted manure piles, that horses and cattle have been temporarily lodged there.
Oh, that groundwater? It’s now pumped into Sneedville for drinking water. I saw a website where the original plan to do this was posted…and the comments were vicious. Ad hominem comments with atrocious spelling (I went to school for a while in Sneedville and I know the teachers taught better than that). Some people just don’t like other people…
My buddy had spotted about 20 schools on the topo maps of Hawkins and Hancock Counties in Tennessee and Lee County in Virginia. Recently, we drove a long, looping tour that took us to each of them…some were long gone, some in really bad shape and some were just fine, as is this smart looking school on the A .J. Osborne Highway near Blackwater VA. Indeed, it is Blackwater High School, opened in 1925 and closed in 1971. Here’s a website that takes a look at Blackwater VA and its colorful history.
However, as I closely looked at the school building I noticed those two vents below the windows. I saw this:
“VSBE”? I had to wait until I got back to find out what it means: Virginia State Board of Education.
As long as that building survives, it will always tell those who closely look that it was once a school.