Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Buchanan County; Then and Now Brenda Baldwin and Victoria Osborne

Buchanan County, like many small counties, has gone through boom and bust in its history. From floods and fires to economic prosperity, Buchanan went from being one of the wealthiest counties to one of the poorest in the state of Virginia. Unlike many small counties, Buchanan is reinventing itself. The original county is no more and is currently being rebuilt.

Brenda and Victoria's books are available at www.amazon.com

Buchanan County, Virginia


Buchanan County, Virginia: Images of America by Brenda Baldwin for Arcadia Publishing

Often referred to as America's last frontier, Buchanan County, Virginia, was formed in 1858 by Act 156 of the Virginia General Assembly. The young county was named after Pres. James Buchanan, and Grundy, the county seat, was named for U.S. senator Felix Grundy, who later became attorney general in Pres. Martin Van Buren's cabinet. Images of America: Buchanan County tells the history of a county from the days of the Long Hunters--who settled the area and named its rivers, salt licks, mountains, and valleys--through the Civil War, when the mountainous terrain along the Virginia-Kentucky state line served as a no-man's-land between the Northern-Southern army, to the coal boom of the 1970s that created instant millionaires. Buchanan County has survived floods, fires, and economic and political demands to emerge anew in the year 2006.

Historic photos collected over a period of many years.

Dickenson County was formed in 1880 from parts of Wise, Russell, and Buchanan Counties. The county was named for William J. Dickenson, a legislator from Russell County who sponsored the bill in the House of Delegates that established it as the 100th county in Virginia. Dickenson has since been referred to as Virginia's baby county. Daniel Boone may have been the first white man to see the area. In 1767, he and two others traveled northward from the Yadkin River in North Carolina and reached the headwaters of the West (later called Russell) Fork of the Big Sandy River. Dickenson has one of the largest underground stores of coal in the world, with coal and lumber providing the majority of jobs for the region. The county is home to bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley, who is from Clintwood and was raised on Sandy Ridge. The county was home to "Ironman" Claude Fuller, who played baseball for the New York Yankees. The county is famous for the "Petticoat Government," an all-women town council and a mayor that received national attention. One of the most tragic mining accidents occurred in Dickenson County in 1932 when an explosion at Splashdam Mine killed 10 men.

Images of America book by Victoria Osborne Dickenson County, Virginia


Book written by one of my pals, Victoria Osborne Dickenson County, Virginia from Arcadia Publishing


Dickenson County was formed in 1880 from parts of Wise, Russell, and Buchanan Counties. The county was named for William J. Dickenson, a legislator from Russell County who sponsored the bill in the House of Delegates that established it as the 100th county in Virginia. Dickenson has since been referred to as Virginia’s baby county. Daniel Boone may have been the first white man to see the area. In 1767, he and two others traveled northward from the Yadkin River in North Carolina and reached the headwaters of the West (later called Russell) Fork of the Big Sandy River. Dickenson has one of the largest underground stores of coal in the world, with coal and lumber providing the majority of jobs for the region. The county is home to bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley, who is from Clintwood and was raised on Sandy Ridge. The county was home to “Ironman” Claude Fuller, who played baseball for the New York Yankees. The county is famous for the “Petticoat Government,” an all-women town council and a mayor that received national attention. One of the most tragic mining accidents occurred in Dickenson County in 1932 when an explosion at Splashdam Mine killed 10 men.

Author Bio: In Images of America: Dickenson County, author Victoria L. Osborne, a historian and the president of the Southwest Virginia Historical and Preservation Society, has compiled histories and photographs that capture the rich life of Virginia’s baby.