Virginia Coal Heritage Trail Corridor Management Plan Meeting
Gate City - September 23, 2010 at 9:00 am & Nickelsville - 1:00 pm


  • Marc Bradley, Owner of Creation Kingdom Zoo
  • Kim McKay, on behalf of Congressman Boucher
  • Charles Green,
  • Tim Addington,
  • Kathie Noe,  Virginia Coal Heritage Trail  Advisory Committee
  • Jennifer Puckett,
  • John Kilgore,


  • Log Church in Dungannon – Ask Darris Hillman
  • Depot moved by Women’s Club and renovated.  Now serves as town hall.
  • Potential for old store building to be converted into small sandwich shop and include photos and information on Dungannon as it once was.  
  • Dungannon offers small camper and tent camping.

Community of Slant

  • Old Store and swinging bridge – Ask Betty Sawyers and Kenny Fannin about it.

Stanleytown – Off road – Mine near Coke Creek – Access to Forest

Rich railroad history along entire section through Scott County

  • Note:  Not Northern Southern .  It is CSX
  • Tunnels  and anything railroad related – Contact:  Kenny Fannin, owns and operates Duffield Depot Museum. 

Rikemo Lodge – History – Darris & Barbara Hillman    Currently owned by Pat McCann –Open to public?

Scott County Horse Park – adding 10 RV sites at Horse Park

Bart Osborne Store Building – RR follows road.  Used to be known as the raceway –

Hagan Hall – Turn Right and bear to left on Castle chapel – Look up on internet for history

  • Hagan’s once owned most of Mountain that has become the Forest.
  • Laid out both Dungannon & Clinchport in blocks
  • Sulphur Springs – Miracle waters just across the hollow


Litter Control Officer – Jake Dougherty 

Wood River View Church

Vann’s farm – Stocked fishing

Must Stop:   Front Porch – Photos of Blackmore school children throughout the years.  Music played periodically.  Great food.  Known for hamburgers.   – Suggested site for info on Coal Trail and Blackmore history.

Saling’s Monument – Betty Salyers   -  Need to interview for oral history.

            Betty also has history on Indian artifacts.

            Flandery site – building with holes for shooting Indians

Rye Cove Wildlife Viewing area – Sidetrip into community where in May 2 1929 a tornado hit killing a number of students and people.  What else is there?

Recommended loop on Hwy 649 to go by Country Basket and Rye Cove School – Memorial – Original bell – Top 10 worst school disasters.  1 teacher and 12 children.  Transported to the train to get them to Bristol.  Used cabin – Flatbeds and cars to railroad.  Principle at Duffield Primary has a ceremony about it.  Has photos. 

Jim Carter was in tornado

Swinging bridge at River Access.  (Photo)

Spur - Natural Bridge State Park – Ask Superintendent about placing info on Coal trail at their site.

  • Kenny Fannin about this and coal.
  • Redstone Drive Inn – Train stops for lunch and railroad run off the train, grab lunch and board back on.  

Clinchport had fire before the 1977 flood.   – Shelly Noe gathering photos.  She lived in Clinchport.

            Youngest Mayor – Michael Mullins – 18 years old – On David Letterman

            Clinchport Depot –(Norfork Southern)  Now gone – Shelly Noe getting photo

Worthwhile side trip or Spur - Fincastle Turnpike - Where to turn around

  • Interpreted site with photos and historical information on the trestle that is quite visible at this site.  Also includes information on Speers Ferry.
  • Clinch River Market turn around or at Speers Ferry ? – Tina knows this. Or
  • Copper Creek – Endangered species
  • Double Trestles
  • Public Access


  • One of the greatest collections of railroad memorabilia, books and more.  A must stop for anyone driving this route. 
  • The museum is in the depot used in the “Coal Miner’s Daughter’s” movie and includes some of the props from the movie. 
  • Access to Depot – Pull-off – Interpretive signs.  Directional signs and designated parking area is needed in front and in back for those going the other direction.  
  • Needs more space to display all that he has.
  • PRIORITY:   Strongly recommend trying to obtain the old Duffield Depot which is currently privately owned and used as a storage shed.   If not available, another depot should be found.  

Near the Lee County line:

  • Daniel Boone’s son  on Castlewood to Cumberland Gap to join father – killed.  Powell Mountain – Killed by Benge.    Historic marker on side of road.   
  • Danny Dickson & Bob McConnell know about this. 

Cultural:   Traditions

  • Santa Train – Elkhorn to Kingsport.  Stops in Dungannon and Blackmore, weekend before Thanksgiving.  Been going on over 60 years.  Throw candy and toys out to children along track.  Now only through out at specific stops. 
  • Dungannon Festival held during Santa Stop
  • Mountain Treasures Festival – Dungannon
  • Duffield Days – Homecoming and family gatherings. 
  • Seige at the Blockhouse – Reenactors –  Frontier Festival


  • Ask Betty Sawyer

 Attraction of the trail but worthwhile:

  • Creation Kingdom Zoo – Must see.  Over 37 species and adding more. 
  • Will offer tree houses to spend the night. 

WMTH Corporation is a certified DBE.