Welch, West Virginia

Welch is the county seat of McDowell County, the southern most of the West Virginia counties.
Experimenting With Leaks The city was incorporated in 1893. Welch was made the county seat of McDowell County by the voters in 1892. Until that point the county seat was Perryville which was located on present day West Virginia Route 83 along the Dry Fork. Results of the election were contested so to avoid violence county records were secretly moved from Perryville to Welch at night in two wagons by James A. Strother and Trigg Tabor. Flat Iron Pharmacy -- Welch, West Virginia
Analogue Love

Stony Fork, Kentucky

Stony Fork, Kentucky is a neat community to drive through and check out the relics on the road side.  Stony for is located about 10 miles east of Pineville on Kentucky 221.  Stony Fork is a coal mining camp that was founded in 1908 with the start of the Stony Fork Coal Company.  Many former coal camp houses and even buildings still remain today.
Stony Fork ( Bell Co ) - Kentucky//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
I havent been able to confirm, but I am pretty sure this at one time was a Company store and later a general store for the community of Stony Fork. Today, it is for sale.
Stony Fork ( Bell Co ) - Kentucky//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
Stony Fork ( Bell Co ) - Kentucky//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
Stony Fork ( Bell Co ) - Kentucky//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
Stony Fork ( Bell Co ) - Kentucky//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
Stony Fork ( Bell Co ) - Kentucky//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

First National Bank of Iaeger, West Virginia

Iaeger WV The First National Bank of Iaeger was founded in 1918 in the McDowell County town of Iaeger.Iaeger, WV
The First National Bank Of Iaeger in West Virginia printed $287,830 dollars worth of national currency. That is a pretty standard output. However, some types of currency from this bank could still be rare. This national bank opened in 1918 and stopped printing money in 1930, which equals a 13 year printing period. That is actually quite brief in terms of bank existence. During its life, The First National Bank Of Iaeger issued 4 different types and denominations of national currency.

Montgomery Ward — Iaeger, West Virginia

A true testament to how preserved and dead the downtown area of Iaeger is would be the Montgomery Ward Building in Iaeger.  Iaeger’s downtown district is basically a long rectangle shape with buildings along the outer edge of the three sides.  Most of the businesses here have closed over the past years.  The few that have remained, right down to the post office have moved out onto US 52 on the other side of the river.
Montgomery Ward -- iaeger, WV Old Montgomery Ward -- Iaeger, WV

Wayland, Kentucky 41666

Wayland, Kentucky is located in Floyd County along highway 7 south of Martin.

Post Office -- Wayland, KY
The Post Office at Wayland was first established on May 18, 1914. Wayland was incorporated as a sixth class city in 1923. The population of Wayland peaked at the 1940 census at 2,888. Today the population is a little over 400.

Drift, Kentucky 41619

Drift, Kentucky is located along state highway 122 between the towns of Martin and McDowell in Floyd County.
Former Post Office -- Drift, Kentucky
The post office at drift was first established in 1909. The origins of the name DRIFT are unclear, but many think that it was named for a local coal mine or after driftwood found in the nearby left fork of Beaver Creek.

The United States Postal Service discontinued service at the Drift Post Office on September 12, 2009.

Mary Alice, Kentucky 40964

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The United States Post Office for Mary Alice, Kentucky was located on state route 72 about 6 miles from downtown Harlan.

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The Post Office was originally constructed in the late 1980s and is nearly identical to just about any small rural post office constructed in this part of the country during that era.  A picture of the post office from 1993 can be found by clicking HERE

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In November of 2011 the Mary Alice post office closed its doors and the building has sent been put up for sale by the US Government.

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So….if your dream has ever been to live in a 600 square foot post office building….here’s your chance!

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Pageton Grade School — McDowell County, West Virginia

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Pageton Grade School is located in the unincorporated community of Pageton, West Virginia in southeastern McDowell County.  Pageton is located about 15 miles southeast of Welch on WV State route 161 about 7 miles from Gary.

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Pageton is a former company centered town once powered by Page Coal & Coke Company.  The old company store still remains standing and has a place on the National Register of Historic Places.

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Pageton Grade school appears to have closed in the late 1980s or early 1990s.  I assume students from Pageton were moved to nearby Anawalt or possibly Gary, seeing as how at the time when this school closed, schools at Gary were still in session.

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As you can see the interior of the school has been let go very badly and like many other schools in this area has fallen into a state of decay.

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As you can see, the word PAGETON is spelled out on the front entrance in the same font that is used at several other schools that were built in the 1920s and 1930s in McDowell County.   I assume this school was built in that same era.  It is probably most similar to the school at nearby Jolo which will be covered in my next entry in ths blog.

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Ages School — Ages-Brookside, Kentucky

Ages Elementary School is a former school located in the Ages Community of Harlan County, Kentucky located off of Kentucky State Route 38 between the cities of Harlan and Evarts.

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The building is built of beautiful cut stone construction typical of many of the early 20th century buildings in this part of the world.  I cant pinpoint a construction date, but by the architectural details and cues I would guess late 1920s to early 1930s would be a good estimate of the opening date for this school.

Ages1 The building is a basic elongated H shape with wings on both ends of the building.

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The school was last used in the early part of the 2000’s by KCEOC as a headstart and preschool location.

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The building suffered some flooring and roof problems and those classes were moved to nearby Verda Elementary after Verda closed in 2001.

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Im not completely sure when this school was last used as an elementary school.  My guess would be early 80s to late 70s.

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Downstairs the boiler room was left wide open and easily accessed.

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The basic structural integrity of the building is still in tact as the exterior walls are still standing firm and the roof is fully intact.

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The floors have now been removed from every single room that I could see in.

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and there are a few holes in the interior walls exposing the old type construction this building utilized.

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as you can see almost every window in this building has been busted out.  These windows coincidentally appear to be the same size and type that was used at Hall High School / Hall Elementary and that building was completed in 1929.

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Another classroom sans the floor.

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You have to love the nice graffiti that some idiot felt appropriate to tag the walls with.

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Stay away.  Haha.

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At least the front doors are secure and locked now.

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A community park now sits adjacent to the school on part of the school property.

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As always, if anyone has any more information on this school or its history please comment or send me a message.  I would love to hear any input!

Seco, Kentucky 41849

Seco is an unincorporated community in northern Letcher County between Flemming-Neon and Whitesburg located off US 119 along the north fork of the Kentucky River.

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The Seco post office was established on October 2, 1915.

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The town of Seco is named after Southeast Coal Company which had a large operation here from 1915 to 1957.   Southeast Coal Company also had a large operation in nearby Millstone.  The company store for Southeast Coal was restored and turned into a winery in the mid 90s.

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Several of the old camp houses in Seco still stand and are used as residence by the people of Seco.

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