Turn-of-the-century Bramwell, West Virginia, had been a rich small town with more millionaires than any host to its size in the us. Saved within the coal areas, 14 millionaires or maybe 19, dependent on which account you read resided sumptuously along-side the city’s 4,000 residents. Into the very early 1880s, term distribute quickly associated with finding regarding the Pocahontas coal industry over the Virginia/West Virginia line. Great coal seams eight to 10 foot high started at Bramwell, W.Va. and extensive for 48 kilometers. Speculators, designers, business owners and miners flocked to your budding town, understood informally as Horseshoe Bend. Some miners originated from Pennsylvania coal areas, other people straight from England, Scotland and Wales. Operators of this brand new mines recruited immigrants at Ellis Island.
One fortune-seeker had been Joseph H. Bramwell, a brand new York civil engineer, whom found its way to 1883. As very very very first postmaster of the postoffice that required a appropriate label, he stated, “Every small infant features a title, and also this small city should have exactly the same. We therefore name it Bramwell.” Later on, Joseph H. became first president associated with the famed Bank of Bramwell, and a big-time real-estate investor. Unlike numerous millionaires whom remained around to lose their cash through the Great Depression or as soon as the mines started initially to play away within the 1930s and ’40s Joseph Bramwell soon gathered up their fortune and relocated to Switzerland.
By 1885, C.H. Durhing, a coal company engineer, had mapped down lots for domiciles and companies. From the Bluestone River’s horseshoe fold, he designed the 2 major stone roads to make a cross. A three-mile-long area that is chartered the mine internet internet sites of Cooper to your western and Freeman to your eastern. Each mining community complex had its own homes, schools, churches, and shops. Found among them, Bramwell ended up being the hub.
Within Bramwell’s elongated restrictions, six railroad bridges and six highway bridges crossed the looping, snaking Bluestone River, additionally the highway crossed the songs 3 times.
Bramwell ended up being a residential oasis, where rich coal barons and their officials could reside in luxury due to their families, all enjoying a sparkling social life, maybe even consuming the “beerine” produced in a factory that is local. a help system of merchants, ministers, physicians, solicitors among others undergirded their life style. A water company, telephone service and a weekly newspaper before 1900, the town had electric street lights.
Officials’ Victorian domiciles had been avant-garde for the times. Imported furnishings had been typical. A copper roof covers the 24-room, 1910 Queen Anne-style Cooper house. Built of orange brick imported from England, its amenities included a pool that is indoor. The 1885 house of Dr. McGuffin, Bramwell’s first physician, had plumbing that is indoor a bath, and a talking tube through the entry way to their room. The lovely blue 1895 Goodwill home features a ballroom. Imported Italian masons laid rock for the 17-room, 6,500-square-foot, Tudor-style Thomas household.
In valuable hyperlink Bramwell’s heyday, the four major neighborhood mines each bore the name “Coal & Coke Company”: Mill Creek, Buckeye, Booth Bowen and Caswell Creek. One business employed 400 males. a 16-foot-diameter fan ventilated 174 beehive coke ovens at another business. One mine produced 100,000 a lot of coal yearly. Miners blasted coal seams with gunpowder, then hand-loaded the coal into mule carts to create it down. In 1889, a year following the town’s charter, miners got 1.05 for the coal automobile that held tons that are 2-1/2. A stronger, efficient worker could load 4-1/2 vehicles in one day. Accidents had been typical.
The Bank of Bramwell, through courtesy, managed the checking and savings accounts for local citizens in early days. But this is stuff that is small to its genuine company. The well-heeled bank had been the monetary focus for several southern western Virginia and points far beyond. As an example, it financed construction of Burning Tree Country Club in Washington, D.C. For size and populace, the lender offered more World War I Loan Bonds than any lender in the united kingdom.