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The huge Pocahontas Fuel Company store at Itmann displays perhaps West Virginia’s most spectacular surviving coalfields architecture. Named for West Virginia financier Isaac T. Mann, president of the Bank of Bramwell and an officer and principal shareholder in Pocahontas Fuel, the company town of Itmann was built in 1916 and began mining the Pocahontas No. 3 seam along the Guyandotte River in Wyoming County in 1917. Served by the Virginian Railroad, the Itmann operation was highly productive, shipping two million tons of high-quality ‘‘smokeless’’ coal each year during the 1950s, and employing 1,800 West Virginians.

At the center of the company town, was the massive stone store, designed by Bluefield architect Alexander Mahood and built between 1923 and 1925. Housing the post office, doctor’s office, freight station, payroll office, and other management functions, as well as the store itself, the cut-stone Classical Revival structure was built by Italian immigrant stonemasons. Its distinctive architecture, including an interior courtyard, has been variously ascribed to an English castle or an Italian prison.

The mine and company store closed in the 1980s, and the landmark building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990. The imposing structure is in private ownership.

Read the National Register nomination.

This Article was written by C. Stuart McGehee

Last Revised on March 28, 2013

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Sources

Pocahontas Operators Association Collection, Eastern Regional Archives. .

Bower, Charles H. Itmann.

"." National Register of Historic Places Nomination, West Virginia Division of Culture & History, 1990.

Cite This Article

McGehee, C. Stuart "Itmann Company Store." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 28 March 2013. Web. 20 December 2014.

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