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.