Uncle Bob's Travels

Places I've hung out in, sometimes briefly.

Archive for the tag “St. Paul VA”

Lonesome Pine Drive In


The old Lonesome Pine Drive-In outside St. Paul VA.  Look!  The screen’s still there (in 2011)!


For some people: “ad perpetuam memoriam”
To the eternal memory…

Sun VA

Sun VA, otherwise known as a wide spot in the road (it’s not even noted on the official map of Russell County), is located at 36.941755, -82.285694, that’s on Hwy 63 about halfway between St. Paul and Dante.  There’s a standard green sign with white letters just before you get to it…
Because of the building right beside the road (you can see it clearly on Google Earth) with dozens of old appliances lying about in front, we always called this “Refrigerator Heaven”.  I’ve done a cursory scan for information about Sun, but still haven’t found out much.  It’s right by the active CSX line (just about a half mile back toward St. Paul is where we stumbled across the two badly damaged CSX locomotives that were on a side track and totally without any security…first time I’d actually ever seen inside a locomotive control room.) and could have been associated with the line in the past.  I don’t know.  Do you?  I will appreciate any information and post it here so others may be enlightened, too, as they travel on 63 between St. Paul and Dante.
Here’s the downtown (looking northward).  The building on the left appears to be abandoned:

St. Paul VA

I call it São Paulo, for no particular reason.  We pass through here all the time, often a local Marathon outlet is a place Hiking Buddy does a “pee and tea”…taking a pee and buying an over-sugared (I don’t do sugar) bottle of some strange flavored tea, which he always says is too sweet.
Anyway, in 1939 the Norfolk and Western (now the Norfolk and Southern) and the Clinchfield (note that it’s “Norfolk and Western Railway” but “Clinchfield Railroad“…must be a story there.) got together to relieve the town of a chokepoint, to wit, where 4th street crossed the railroad.  Instead of raising the railroad, which would have proven to be complicated, the lines just lowered the street.  Works well,  Shot one is of the underpass from the town side, then a cu of the inscription (the 1939 date is there, but it’s relatively tiny).
On to a look at the historic Stonebriar Hotel and then the Lyric Theater.  St. Paul was the place to be once upon a time when coal was king.  And it’s still a pleasant, well-kept town.

Next is a look down 4th Street and a shot of one of two business/apartment buildings we noted that had open terraces for the people on the second floor.  Neat idea.

Back in 1912, according to a letterhead shown in James Goforth’s “Building the Clinchfield”, this was the Blue Sulphur Hotel, “Home for the Man of the Grip” (makes no sense unless you know that “grip” meant “suitcase”).  “A Well of Blue Sulphur Water at Entrance Free to Guests” (ick). Rates were $2 and $2.50 (the extra 50 cents got you a room with a bath).  “An elegant, high-toned stopping place for travelers.”  Acetylene light.  Telephone in each room.

And this is the old Lyric Theater.

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