Before we continue with  our look at the history of Mercer County, courtesy of

Kyle McCormick’s The Story of Mercer County, (Charleston Publishing Co. 1957). I want to reiterate that I'm looking for further reader input as to what appears in this column after the McCormick information runs its course which will be soon. The address for this column will appear at the end of the column.

Mercer County has a state park at Pinnacle Rock and a state forest/state park at Camp Creek. The latter is roughly 10,000 acres in size and over $200,000 as spent for land and improvements with a new residence for the caretaker, picnic tables, paths and other features added.

The first telephone line in Mercer County was built in 1886 from Bramwell to Ingleside on the Norfolk & Western Railway and through Princeton. It allowed the Bramwell coal operators to send telegrams throughout the country.

One of the worst tragedies in county history occurred on Crane Creek on June 9, 1924 as a flash flood took eight lives. The victims lived near the  tipple of the Pinnacle operation of the American Coal Company. Slides covered several homes and the near-by tracks of the N & W, to the depth of 15 feet. The victims were miners and their families, with seven in one home.

The victims were watching the flood from their windows.

The cause of the flood and slides was an explosion of burning debris and ashes from heavy rain. There was heavy steam and it was described as like a volcano.

When a long, westbound Virginian Railway train stops with engine in the tunnel beneath U.S. Route 460 at Hale's Gap, it is over two rivers, the East and the New, crosses two highways, one in West Virginia, one in Virginia, and lies in two districts of two counties and two states and covers two bridges.

To comment of this column, write me c/o "Mercer County Memories', P.O. Box 1199, Princeton, WV 24740 or e-mail me at or If you have pictures you wish to share, we'd like to use them with the stories. Please make copies and send them to us. If you want to send original photographs and wish them returned, send a SASE. We look forward to your submissions and ideas. The column is available on the Internet at Information concerning Flat Top, Dunns, Egeria, Camp Creek, Lerona, Speedway, Lovern, Pettry, Elgood, Kellysville, Willowton, Oakvale, Ingleside, Green Valley, Glenwood, Ada, Ceres, Princeton, Melrose, Athens, Spanishburg, Beeson, Pinoak, Lashmeet, Lake Shawnee, Kegley, Dott, Springton, Hiawatha, Matoaka, Windmill Gap, McComas, Rock, Crystal, Montcalm, Duhring, Coaldale, Nemours, Wolfe, Bramwell, Bluewell, Brushfork, Sandlick, Lorton Lick, Stony Gap, Bluefield, Pisgah, Trembling Valley, Island Creek and surrounding areas is welcomed. We need your input with photographs encouraged, especially in areas as yet uncovered in this column. Contributions are appreciated.

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