Richlands coaling tower?

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Fri Mar 1 09:55:20 EST 2019

On Thu, Feb 28, 2019, at 10:32 PM Ed wrote:

> It’s still a puzzle, because in 1950 there was a large concrete coaling
> tower at Vicker which still stands.

The concrete coaling tower was built in 1951 to replace the overhead
facility shown in the photo. The annual reports list the construction of
that coal wharf in 1918 and the addition of a water tank in 1937 (but not
the second one as seen in the photo). Given the importance of Vicker, I
would expect that the building seen in the background (and in other photos
found in the archives) is a water softener to feed those two tanks. If one
pokes around Vicker, especially along the roadside, there are still traces
of the balloon track and foundations for that overhead wharf.

Annual Report, December 31, 1918
   Coaling stations were constructed at Bonsack and Vicker, Va.

December 31, 1937
   Standard 50,000 gallon water tanks were installed at Starkey, Glade
Spring and Vicker, Va.

1951 Annual Report
   At Vicker, Va., a modern concrete overhead coaling and sanding station,
including rearranged trackage.

Bruce in Blacksburg
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