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.

Former Post Office — Iaeger, West Virginia

Along with nearly everything else, and I do mean everything else, even the United States Post Office for Iaeger has left the “downtown” business district of the town.
Former Post Office -- Iaeger, WV
The town still has a post office, although it has now moved out onto the main road, US 52 near the Dollar General store.

War City Hall — McDowell County, West Virginia

War bills itself as West Virginia’s southern-most city. War is located on state highway 16 about 15 miles south of Welch. War was the home of Big Creek High School, Homer Hickam’s alma mater.
War City Hall, War West Virginia
War was incorporated as a city in 1920. The population of War peaked in 1950 at 3,992. According to the 2014 census estimate the town has a population of 793.
War, West Virginia

Walmart — Kimball, West Virginia (10/26/05 – 1/28/16)

In 2002 the Kmart store in Kimball, West Virginia just outside of Welch shut its doors.  The county leaders began aggressively recruiting Walmart in hopes that they would build a store on the property.
Walmart -- Kimball, West Virginia
Finally in the summer of 2005 construction began on the property. Over 1,200 applicants applied for positions at the new store and on Wednesday, October 26, 2005 at 8am the doors to the new McDowell County Walmart Supercenter opened for business.
Walmart -- Kimball, West Virginia
The store was 99,700 square feet and featured a pharmacy, a bakery-deli.  The store featured 8 full check outs and 6 express check out lanes.
Walmart -- Kimball, West Virginia
Walmart -- Kimball, West Virginia//
What struck me as odd about this store was even though it was labeled as a supercenter it never featured a photo lab nor was it ever 24 hours.  When the store first opened the store hours were 6am-11pm.  Unlike most other supercenter stores, this store also only featured one entrance/exit.
Walmart -- Kimball, West Virginia
Flash forward to January 15, 2016. Walmart announced that they would close over 150 stores in the United States. Most of these store closures were from a test format of express stores that they opened mainly in the south. However, there were about 10 supercenters on the list to be closed and the Kimball store was one of the ones on the list.
Walmart -- Kimball, West Virginia
I made it up to this Walmart on the last day of business January 28th. At that time all merchandise, with a couple of exceptions was 75% off. There was a large section of the store that was already bare and crews were taking the store apart as you shopped.
Walmart --Kimball, West Virginia//
As I walked into the store I walked in beside a worker. She began talking to me and I couldnt help but feel sorry for her and the workers there. You could tell that she was just flabbergasted that the town was losing their Walmart. I know its the trendy thing to hate Walmart, but in small towns like this, Walmart is their shopping center. Walmart is their grocery store, their clothing store, their pharmacy, their home improvement store etc.
Walmart --Kimball, West Virginias
Walmart --Kimball, West Virginia
Walmart --Kimball, West Virginia
Walmart --Kimball, West Virginia
Walmart --Kimball, West Virginia
Walmart --Kimball, West Virginia
Walmart --Kimball, West Virginia
Walmart --Kimball, West Virginia
Walmart --Kimball, West Virginia

Premier 24878 — McDowell County, West Virginia

Premier is an unincorporated community about 4 miles west of Welch West Virginia in McDowell County.


The Post Office is located just off US 52 and is still in operation.



I noticed that this post office operates at a very reduced hour schedule

8-12 Monday – Friday    and just 10am til 12pm on Saturday.

Gary District High School — Gary, West Virginia


Sherman Cahal, the guy who runs has really been a huge inspiration to me in my exploration and honestly I have spent hours upon hours studying his work and his explorations.  The man truly has opened me up to a whole new side of who I am and helped me discovered a  big passion I never even knew i had.


His entry from 2013 covering the remains of Gary District High School in McDowell, West Virginia is one such piece that inspired me.  Not just the photographs, but the story.  The building and entire community is really such an icon of the history and way of life in central Appalachia.


As you drive up to Gary District Grade and High School you notice the attention to detail the original architects paid to this building and it’s design.


Located on what I would call a back street in what is now a back neighborhood, the only close neighbor is a church next door leaving the building vulnerable to vandals.


Much of the history of Gary District Grade and High School is what I learned from Sherman’s blog so I must give credit where credit is due, so much of what you read in the coming paragraphs is information I learned from him and I am simply passing on.

The first Gary District High School, which was the high school for black children was constructed in 1913 ina  wooden framed building.  In 1925 that building burned and this new brick building was constructed at a cost of $36,000.  The new 2 story brick building had 10 classrooms a gymnasium and a Library.   At the time there were 437 black children enrolled at the school and that population was climbing rapidly.  In 1927/28 a new elementary / grade school was constructed adjacent to the high school as seen in the photo below.


By September 1938 enrollment had increased to 650 students.



In 1954 Gary District Schools had an enrollment of 716.


In the fall of 1954 the waves of de-segregation began to make their way to the hills of McDowell County and southern West Virginia.  At the beginning of the school year Gary District students were given the option to remain at Gary District or transfer to a neighboring school such as Gary High School.  Most students remained at Gary District Graded and High School.   Gary7 In September of 1965 due to falling enrollment all of the high school students at Gary District High was transferred to Gary High School and Gary District High ceased to exist.




The High School was then converted into an elementary school which would remain in operation until 1981 when the entire complex was closed.



And although I cant find factual data or a reference to it being used after the early 1980s I do have proof that there were computers in the building after 1991 because there are several ,monitors manufactured in 1991 in one of the classrooms.

Gary22 Gary17





At one time in history Gary, West Virginia was the largest coal camp in the world according to some (Others would argue that Lynch, Kentucky was the largest)   Both of which were owned by US Steel.  At its peak Gary was home to nearly 15,000 residents.


Today Gary is home to around 900 residents.