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By Mary Legg Stevenson
Mary Stevensonâ€™s most recent work, chronicles - through photographs - the history of many of West Virginiaâ€™s southern coal mining towns. For a time coal was king in West Virginia. Today, most of the mines have closed, and many of the towns are gone. To tell the story of generations of hard working West Virginians - both coal miners and enterprising businessmen - we have mainly fading memories and old photographs. Volume 2 tells the story of Beckley when it was the â€œCapitol of the Coalfields.â€ It also tells the story of many once vibrant towns, some of which no longer exist. Watch as West Virginia moved into a new century: as burgeoning coal towns filled with churches, schools, stores, and theatres. Read about coal barons, among them two brothers who came on foot from Tennessee to make their fortunes. This book contains all of the photographs in Stevensonâ€™s first two books, From Affinity to Winding Gulf (1989) and From Ameagle to Wingrove (1990). Coal Towns of West Virginia, Volume 2 also contains over a hundred previously unpublished rare photos of Beckley and surrounding communities.