Tag Archives: history of appalachia

The largest open surface granite quarry in the world

“The principal outcrops of granite in Surry County are found in the northern part of the county near the Virginia line in the vicinity of Mount Airy, the county seat. The granite is exposed in flat surfaced masses in rather an advanced stage of decay immediately to the north and south of Mount Airy where […]

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A steam saw mill was then as much of a sight as a Barnum’s Big Show now

In Grantsville district quite a number of water power mills were erected between the years 1835 ~ 1855, but there are now only two or three within the same limits. Steam power mills have taken their places. In 1837, a man by the name of Williams, from Pennsylvania, built the first steam saw mill on the […]

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How Virginia’s Huckleberry Train got its name

The big break needed for Blacksburg, VA’s railroad hopes came with the Great Coal Strike of 1902 in Pennsylvania. William J. Payne and his associates in Richmond had become persuaded of the good prospects in coal at Price and Brush mountains. They, in turn, persuaded men they knew within disgruntled coal and coal railroad management […]

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The largest grading project on a commercial airport ever attempted

During World War II while the Army, Navy and Civil Aeronautics Agency were constructing airports for the war effort, attempts were made to have the agencies approve a field in Kanawha County, WV. All requests were turned down because of the large amount of grading that would have to be done. The county then went […]

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Moses Cone learned men. He learned how to win them.

It was in the late 1870s that merchants of this section of the state came to know a young Hebrew grocery drummer who traveled the mountains on horseback soliciting orders for the Cone wholesale grocery firm doing business in Jonesboro, TN. He was an attractive and interesting young drummer who had genius as a merchant. […]

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