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Beckley by Fran Klaus
A fork in the road was all Alfred Beckley found in 1836 when he arrived in a wilderness that was to be chartered as Beckley in 1850. Aptly named, Beckley means Becca’s wood or clearing. Farming and timbering were the primary occupations in Raleigh County until 1900, when coal became a major industry, bringing immigrants from Europe and the Deep South. Prosperity continued for half a century until the coal mines were worked out. Many miners moved to the Midwest, where steel mills and factories were booming. Beckley struggled through the 1950s and 1960s. Then came the interstates, which created tremendous growth in health care, banking, housing, education, shopping, restaurants, tourism, culture, and recreation. However, downtown became a vacant reminder of its nostalgic past as shopping centers took over. The 21st century has brought a new face to Beckley, as it is rapidly becoming a government center.
Author Bio: Fran Klaus is a coal miner’s daughter who grew up in West Virginia. She and her husband, Dick, owned Klaus Office Equipment, Space 3 Interiors, and Serendipity Coffee House in Beckley. She was instrumental in several historical restorations and published Whispers from Wildwood and Looking Back . . . A Pictorial History of Beckley. Now retired, Fran enjoys visiting her four delightful blessings in Colorado and Virginia.
# of Pages: 128
On Sale Date: 01/30/2012
# of Images: 200 Black and White