One of the best tools ever developed to aid in the discovery of abandoned exploration sites to people like me has been the advent of Google Maps and Google Earth. Back in 2011 just as winter was beginning to set in I was planning a trip to McDowell County and was roaming all over the county on Google Earth.
Down on the southern fringes of the county bordering Tazewell County Virginia near the town of Pocahontas I saw what appeared to be two rather large buildings literately setting on top of a mountain in the middle of no where as there were only a few scattered houses around it along a windy narrow mountain road. The nearest name place on the map was a place called Jenkinjones, West Virginia. Little did I know I had just discovered a building that had been listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992.
Needless to say my interest was piqued and I had to make the trip down to Jenkins Jones when I was in McDowell County. The trip to Jenkins-Jones from the main corridor of US 52 through McDowell County is quite a trek. approximately 30 miles from the county seat of Welch along a winding, narrow road up many hills and neighborhoods including Gary and Pageton.
Both buildings were designed by architect Alex B. Mahood, the same Alex B. Mahood who designed the company store at Vivian previously covered in this blog, and built in 1917. The Pocahontas Fuel Company store and office buildings stand across from one another near the end of county route 8 in Jenkinjones.
The buildings were constructed in 1917 and during the years following, they were the center of activity in the busy but very isolated company-owned community.