Virginia State Seal

Virginia Department of Historic Resources

092-0011 Pocahontas Historic District

Pocahontas Historic District
*Click on image to enlarge.

For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 03/21/1972

NRHP Listing Date 11/03/1972

NPS property number 72001418

Nestled in the Laurel Creek Valley, this mountain community’s mining structures, ornate commercial buildings, and rows of wooden workers’ houses preserve the image of a late 19th-century, coal-mining company town. Pocahontas was founded in 1881 and developed by the Southwest Virginia Improvement Co. as a company headquarters and miners’ residential community at a terminus of the Norfolk and Western railroad. Unlike most early mining towns, Pocahontas was from the start a model company town with orderly rows of company-built housing and a downtown embellished with richly decorated sheet-metal store fronts. The Victorian combination town hall and opera house is an architectural contrast to the prosaic company store, the miners’ bathhouse, and the tiny brick coal sheds in front of many dwellings. A period of decline in recent decades has generated efforts to preserve the town’s distinct character.


Abbreviations:
VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

Updated April 4, 2018