Welcome to the Tug Valley Area
here to visit Mingo County
to spend a few hours finding all the
historic spots, while you enjoy some of the
most scenic areas in Kentucky and West Virginia
Yes its really made
out of coal.
That's a phrase often repeated by natives,
when incredulous visitors see Williamson's "Coal House" for
the first time.
The outside walls of the unique structure actually are constructed of Coal
- 65 tons of it, from the multi-million dollar seams in the vicinity of this
bustling southern West Virginia town.
The Coal House, were is located, is in the courthouse square in downtown Williamson, West
Virginia, stands a fitting tribute to the abundant mineral that has brought
prosperity to the entire Southern section of West Virginia.
It was built in 1933 as a result of an idea by O.W. Evans, then manager of
the Norfolk and Western Railways Fuel Department in Williamson. He hit upon
the novel Coal House idea, and gained civic support for the project. Materials,
labor, and cash were donated by local firms and individuals, and the one-story
building was designed by H.T. Hicks, architect, of Welch, West Virginia.
The 65 tons of coal were cut into blocks that were used in the four walls and
the two smooth pilasters at the front of the building. The general appearance
of the structure is that of cut stone, although, of course, black. Foundations
are masionary set on concrete footings.
The outside surfaces are remarkably in tact, thanks to coats of weatherproof
varnish applied every two years which protect the building from deterioration
The Coal House apparently does not constitute any unusual fire hazards, since
it was insured without question by a nationally known insurance company.
The interior of the building has been recently remodeled consisting of walnut
paneling, wall to wall carpet, flourescent lighting, central heating and air
conditioning, modern furniture, and equipment, which all blend with a modernistic
decor. The remodeling was made possible by the merchants and businesses of
the Tug Valley TYT area. It was the beginning of the City of Williamson's Renovation
At present, the building houses the Tug Valley Chamber of Commerce and the
Williamson TYT Credit Bureau.
Coal used in the construction was mined from Winifrede seam and donated by
the Leckie Collieries Company, Crystal Block Coal Company, and The Winifrede
Block Coal Company.
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