The Southwest Virginia Improvement Company opened Pocahontas Mine No. 1, the first to exploit the rich seams of the Pocahontas Coalfield, in 1882. An extension of the Norfolk and Western Railway soon followed, bringing industrial development to Southwest Virginia and linking it to Norfolk. The mine brought a mix of ethnic groups from neighboring states and Europe to the area, including African Americans, Hungarians, Italians, Russians, Germans, and Welsh. Miners produced about 1,000 tons of coal a day by 1883. In 1938, a closed section of the mine opened as the nation’s first Exhibition Coal Mine, which educated visitors about the industry. Mining operations ceased in 1955.
Original Sponsor: Town of Pocahontas
Geographic Location: Tazewell County
Physical Description of Location: Proposed Location: Intersection of 215 Shop Hollow Rd/SR 659, 700 feet N of intersection of Exhibit Mine Rd and Boissevan Rd on the southbound side of Exhibit Mine Rd.
Display on Google Maps
Display on Google Earth