My friend Donny and I are planning an exploration trip in McDowell County, West Virginia for the first Saturday in October. I’ve explored this county a pretty good lot and every time I go Ive always had to go visit Big Creek High School. You know the high school that was home to the Rocket Boys. Big Creek closed its doors to students in 2010 when McDowell County consolidated Big Creek and Iaeger High School into one. Iaeger was demolished in 2011. Big Creek has been living on borrowed time since it has been in the plans to demolish the school, especially since the districts new consolidated K-8 school, Southside was built directly in front of Big Creek.
I was just searching out new sites to explore in McDowell and I came across an article from WVVA in Bluefield discussing a terrible fire at Big Creek in July of this year. I had no idea. Apparently the old abandoned building was completely engulfed in flames and the structure, which was scheduled for demolition anyway was completely destroyed. It has since been razed and the site is bare. WOW. I just cant believe that huge school with all of that history was taken out by a fire. This is why I do what I do. This is why I travel to remote corners of my region to cover these comings and goings of businesses or other buildings in the communities. I am so glad I have the pictures that I have of Big Creek. Its broke my heart that the school is gone forever.
I guess there is a little Big Creek Owl in all of us. Rest easy Big Creek.
The first two photos were taken in June of 2013. The last photo was taken around September of 2008 I think, when construction of the new southside K-8 school was just getting underway.