Turn-of-the-century Bramwell, western Virginia, ended up being a rich small city with more millionaires than any host to its size in the us. Saved within the coal areas, 14 millionaires or maybe 19, according to which account you read resided sumptuously along-side the city’s 4,000 residents. During the early 1880s, term distribute quickly regarding the breakthrough for the Pocahontas coal field across the Virginia/West Virginia line. Fantastic coal seams eight to 10 foot high started at Bramwell, W.Va. and extensive for 48 kilometers. Speculators, designers, business owners and miners flocked to the budding town, understood informally as Horseshoe Bend. Some miners originated from Pennsylvania coal areas, other people directly from England, Scotland and Wales. Operators regarding the mines that are new immigrants at Ellis Island.
One fortune-seeker had been Joseph H. Bramwell, an innovative new York engineer that is civil whom found its way to 1883. As very first postmaster of the postoffice that required a appropriate label, he stated, “Every small child includes a title, and also this small city will need to have equivalent. We therefore name it Bramwell.” Later on, Joseph H. became very very first president associated with the famed Bank of Bramwell, and a big-time property investor. Unlike numerous millionaires whom remained around to reduce their cash through the Great Depression or as soon as the mines started to play away into the 1930s and ’40s Joseph Bramwell soon gathered up their fortune and relocated to Switzerland.
By 1885, C.H. Durhing, a coal business engineer, had mapped down lots for domiciles and companies. In the Bluestone River’s horseshoe fold, he designed the two brick that is major to make a cross. A three-mile-long chartered area included the mine internet sites of Cooper into the western and Freeman into the eastern. Each mining community complex had its houses that are own schools payday loans in Virginia, churches, and shops. Found among them, Bramwell ended up being the hub.
Within Bramwell’s elongated restrictions, six railroad bridges and six highway bridges crossed the looping, snaking Bluestone River, in addition to highway crossed the songs 3 times.
Bramwell had been a domestic oasis, where rich coal barons and their officials could reside in luxury with regards to families, all enjoying a sparkling social life, possibly even consuming the “beerine” produced in a local factory. a help system of merchants, ministers, physicians, lawyers among others undergirded their lifestyle. Before 1900, town had electric road lights, a water business, phone service and a regular newsprint.
Officials’ Victorian domiciles had been avant-garde for the times. Imported furnishings had been 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 interior pool. The 1885 home of Dr. McGuffin, Bramwell’s very very first doctor, had interior plumbing work, a shower, and a talking tube through the door to their bed room. The lovely blue 1895 Goodwill household features a ballroom. Imported Italian masons laid stone for the 17-room, 6,500-square-foot, Tudor-style Thomas household.
The four major local mines each bore the title “Coal & Coke Company”: Mill Creek, Buckeye, Booth Bowen and Caswell Creek in Bramwell’s heyday. One company employed 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 carry it down. 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 very good, 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 little material contrasted to its genuine company. The bank that is well-heeled 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.