New Boston Coke was once part of the Portsmouth Steel complex that employed nearly 5,000 during its height in the mid-20th century.
While exploring Virginia’s back roads, I came upon the former New River, Holston and Western Railroad (NH&W) that once extended from the Norfolk & Western (N&W) at Narrows on the New River in Giles County to the village of Suiter in Bland County, Virginia. The 43-mile line followed Wolf Creek or its tributaries for its entire length.
On a recent business excursion to Virginia, I discovered the oft-forgotten Chesapeake Western Railway which was once proposed from Washington, D.C. to Cincinnati, Ohio. Only a segment from Elkton, Virginia westward to Stokesville was ever completed in its original intention. Although some of the railroad has been dismantled, portions remain active for the Norfolk Southern and for a short line.
The Paramount Theatre is located in Youngstown, Ohio and was originally known as the Liberty Theatre. Designed by Detroit architect C. Howard Crane, with Stanley & Scheibel serving as associate architects, the vaudeville house opened on February 11, 1918 with the production of “A Modern Musketeer.” The late Neo-classical, Ecole des Beaux Arts exterior featured terra cotta ornamentation, while the interior featured ornate plaster detailing and 1,700 seats.
There is a lot of commonality between Youngstown, Ohio and the Ohio River valley that I grew up within near Ironton. Both are areas that have experienced major employment losses, either due to a declining steel mill or other heavy industries; both are areas that have experienced population declines in the cities; both are areas that are impoverished. But the severity of Youngstown’s losses are hard to compare to.