About 2017-04-28T00:42:15+00:00

About The Town of Pocahontas

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.
Recent Development

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.

Future Development

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.

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 441 people, 190 households, and 122 families residing in the town. The population density was 729.1 people per square mile (283.8/km2). There were 230 housing units at an average density of 380.3/sq mi (148.0/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 96.15% White, 2.04% African American, 0.23% Native American, 0.91% from other races, and 0.68% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.81% of the population.

There were 190 households out of which 27.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.3% were married couples living together, 16.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.3% were non-families. 32.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 2.98.

In the town the population was spread out with 24.7% under the age of 18, 8.6% from 18 to 24, 21.1% from 25 to 44, 27.7% from 45 to 64, and 17.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 89.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.4 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $22,917, and the median income for a family was $30,357. Males had a median income of $22,232 versus $17,321 for females. The per capita income for the town was $12,124. About 19.8% of families and 17.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.4% of those under age 18 and 10.3% of those age 65 or over.

Geography

Pocahontas is located at 37°18′18″N 81°20′23″W / 37.304997°N 81.339802°W / 37.304997; -81.339802 (37.304997, -81.339802).[3]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 0.6 square miles (1.6 km2), all of it land.

(Resource: wikipedia.org)

POCAHONTAS, VA Demographic Information*:

Population: 689
White Population: 670
Black Population: 9
Hispanic Population: 9
Asian Population: 1
Hawaiian Population: 0
Indian Population: 1
Other Population: 4
Male Population: 339
Female Population: 350
Avg House Value: $31,300.00
Avg Household Income: $24,167.00
Avg Persons Per Household: 2.35
Median Age: 41.10
Median Age (Male): 39.40
Median Age (Female): 42.50

* Demographic data is based on information taken from the 2000 Census.

Pocahontas is home to the former Pocahontas Middle School and Pocahontas High School, which was combined into one school on the outskirts of the town. The school hosted grades 6-12. Pocahontas High School and was the smallest high school in the state of Virginia that had a varsity football program, the mascot being the Indians. Both schools had been the target of school consolidation efforts which was met with much resistance from local residents. However the Tazewell County Public School Board System voted to close Pocahontas High School. The last graduating class from the school graduated on June 6, 2008 after 99 years of classes at the school.[4] Students from PHS were sent to Tazewell or Graham High School starting with the 2008-2009 school year.

Beginning in 2006, Southwest Virginia Community College began holding classes in downtown Pocahontas in the historic Pocahontas Fuel Company office.
Festivals

On Labor Dayeach year, Pocahontas is home to the Coal Miners Reunion, which brings together retired and railroad workers from across the United States to be honored by the town with a parade and luncheon. The festival also includes special recognition of the oldest and longest-serving miners or railroad workers present and stump speeches from local political candidates.

On the last Saturday in April, the town celebrates the official seasonal opening of the Pocahontas Exhibition Mine and Museum with a special ceremony and luncheon and half-price admission to the exhibition mine. Earlier in the day, the town hosts the annual Pocahontas Indian Run, a 5-mile run through the historic town and scenic community that brings runners from across the United States. The event also features a 3-mile Indian Walk and a Papoose Run for children 6-12. In the evening, there is a memorial ceremony at the Pocahontas Cemetery for the miners killed in the 1884 mine explosion which killed 114 coal miners.