Officials’ Victorian houses had been avant-garde when it comes to times. Imported furnishings were typical.

Officials’ Victorian houses had been avant-garde when it comes to times. Imported furnishings were typical.

Turn-of-the-century Bramwell, western Virginia, had been a rich small town with more millionaires than any host to its size in the usa. Saved when you look at the coal industries, 14 millionaires or simply 19, according to which account you read resided sumptuously along-side the city’s 4,000 residents. During the early 1880s, term distribute quickly associated with the finding associated with the Pocahontas coal industry over the Virginia/West Virginia line. Great coal seams eight to 10 feet high started at Bramwell, W.Va. and extensive for 48 kilometers. Speculators, designers, business owners and miners flocked to your budding town, understood informally as Horseshoe Bend. Some miners originated in Pennsylvania coal areas, other people directly from England, Scotland and Wales. Operators for the brand new mines recruited immigrants at Ellis Island.

One fortune-seeker ended up being Joseph H. Bramwell, an innovative new York civil engineer, whom found its way to 1883. As first postmaster of a post office that required a appropriate label, he stated, “Every small child features a title, and also this small city will need to have exactly the same. We therefore name it Bramwell.” Later on, Joseph H. became very very first president of this famed Bank of Bramwell, and a big-time property investor. Unlike many millionaires whom remained around to reduce their cash through the Great Depression or once the mines begun to play down into the 1930s and ’40s Joseph Bramwell soon gathered up their fortune and relocated to Switzerland.

A coal company engineer, had mapped out lots for homes and businesses by 1885, C.H. Durhing. Regarding the Bluestone River’s horseshoe fold, he designed the 2 brick that is major to make a cross. A three-mile-long area that is chartered the mine web web sites of Cooper to your western and Freeman towards the eastern. Each mining community complex had its houses that are own schools, churches, and shops. Positioned among them, Bramwell ended up being the hub.

Within Bramwell’s elongated limitations, six railroad bridges and six highway bridges crossed the looping, snaking Bluestone River, additionally the highway crossed the songs 3 times.

Bramwell had been a domestic oasis, where rich coal barons and their officials could are now living in luxury making use of their families, all enjoying a sparkling social life, maybe even consuming the “beerine” produced in a factory that is local. a help system of merchants, ministers, medical practioners, solicitors as well as others undergirded their life style. A water company, telephone service and a weekly newspaper before 1900, the town had electric street lights.

Officials’ Victorian domiciles had been avant-garde when it comes to times. Imported furnishings were common. A copper roof covers the 24-room, 1910 Queen Anne-style Cooper house. Built of orange brick imported from England, its amenities included a pool that is indoor. The 1885 house of Dr. McGuffin, Bramwell’s very very first doctor, had plumbing that is indoor a bath, and a talking tube through the entry way to their bed room. The lovely blue 1895 Goodwill home has a ballroom. Imported Italian masons laid rock when it comes to 17-room, 6,500-square-foot, Tudor-style Thomas home.

In Bramwell’s heyday, the four major neighborhood mines each bore the title “Coal & Coke Company”: Mill Creek, Buckeye, Booth Bowen and Caswell Creek. One company used 400 males. a 16-foot-diameter fan ventilated 174 beehive coke ovens at another business. One mine produced 100,000 a lot of coal yearly. Miners blasted coal seams with gunpowder, then hand-loaded the coal into mule carts to create it away. In 1889, per year following the city’s charter, miners got 1.05 for the coal vehicle that held tons that are 2-1/2. A powerful, efficient worker could load 4-1/2 automobiles per day. Accidents had been typical.

The Bank of Bramwell, through courtesy, managed the checking and savings accounts for local citizens in early days. But this is tiny material contrasted to its real company. The well-heeled bank ended up being the monetary center point for several southern western Virginia and points far past. For instance, it financed construction of Burning Tree nation Club in Washington, D.C. The bank sold more World War I Loan Bonds than any financial institution in the country for size and population.


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