Welcome to the Town of Pocahontas
The Indian Run will be held on April 25, 2015. Registration will start at 7:00AM at the Town Hall and the Mines will have its grand opening at 2:00PM. For more information call the Town Hall (276) 945-9522. CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE ENTRY FORM.
Pocahontas is a town in Tazewell County, Virginia, named for the Algonquian Indian woman Pocahontas. The population was 441 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Bluefield, WV-VA micropolitan area which has a population of 107,578. Pocahontas was the location of the start of this region's coal boom with a spur line that launched the Norfolk and Western Railroad (now Norfolk Southern) into national prominence during the 1880s. The large two-state coal region bears the town's name. Pocahontas was also the birthplace of jazz pianist Teddy Weatherford.
Pocahontas, Virginia, a different location outside of Tazewell County, was added to Petersburg, Virginia in 1785.
The Town of Pocahontas is composed of a mayor, vice mayor, and city council. The current mayor is Johnathan Gibson. The Town of Pocahontas also operates a water company for the town and surrounding communities in both Virginia and West Virginia. In 2006, the town made history when it elected an all-female administration.
The Town of Pocahontas owns and operates the Pocahontas Exhibition Mine and Museum, a National Historic Landmark and Virginia's official "coal heritage zone." The "show mine," as many locals call it, features tours from retired coal miners into the real mine that served as the birthplace of the world-famous Pocahontas #3 coal that heated homes across the United States and was the chosen fuel of the United States Navy. The exhibition mine, open from April-October annually, features a 13-foot tall coal seam. There is also a museum and education center located in the mine's former powerhouse.
The town also features a registered Virginia Historic site, the Pocahontas Cemetery. The cemetery features graves that are over 100 years old and a mass grave of coal miners killed in a mine explosion in Pocahontas on March 13, 1884. Each year, the town holds a ceremony at the cemetery to remember the more than 114 coal miners killed in the explosion.
The town is also home to St. Elizabeth's Roman Catholic Church which features ten life-sized murals on the ceiling and walls of the church. The church also holds an annual Hungarian cabbage roll dinner to honor the European heritage of the coalfields.
The Pocahontas State Correctional Center was completed in the summer of 2007, and officially opened on September 5, 2007. The medium-security prison can house around 1,000 inmates and provide around 300 jobs. Unfortunately, the state brought the prison employees from other states and hired only 10 local employees.
Plans are currently in place to develop a "tourist train" from nearby Bramwell, West Virginia in Mercer County, to the coal community. Railroad has recently been donated towards the project, and the project is endorsed by Democrat U.S. Congressman Frederick "Rick" Boucher from Virginia's Ninth District. Virginia also created a "Tourist Train Commission," for the project.