The Decline of McDowell County and the Future of Coal
Daily Athenaeum - McDowell County has a rich history of coal mining. The southernmost county in West Virginia paints the picture of coal's impact upon the state. In the early 1950s ,the county had a population of more than 100,000 and was the largest coal producer in the world. Read
During the subsequent decades, as coal reserves dried up, many people lost their jobs. People began to move out of communities, and local businesses shut down.