The Southwest Virginia Improvement Company first developed a town at Pocahontas in 1881-82 to house its workers and support its mining efforts. The commercial district lay along Centre and St. Clair Streets. The 1884 Company Store, the first and largest of its kind in the region, was its centerpiece. To foster the growth of the town, the company sold lots to competing entrepreneurs, many of whom were Jewish immigrants, who established drugstores, saloons, and general stores. Many buildings bore elaborate iron-front facades, attesting to the importance of the coal-mining industry. Most development stopped by the 1920s, as the coal-mining boom that had driven growth slipped into a slow decline.
Original Sponsor: Town of Pocahontas
Geographic Location: Tazewell County
Physical Description of Location: Proposed Location: SE corner of Centre Street at intersection with Water Street
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