Itmann Company Store and Office

Itmann Company Store - First Floor

The Itmann Company Store and Office was developed by the Pocahontas Fuel Company for their mines in Wyoming County, West Virginia.






In 1916, the Pocahontas Fuel Company acquired a lease to over 1,000 acres of land along the Guyandotte River and developed the coal mining community of Itmann, named in honor of the company’s president I.T. Mann. 1 2 The town was served by two small wood-framed company stores.

A more substantial combination office and company store complex, designed by notable architect Alex B. Mahood in the Classical Revival architectural style, was constructed between 1923-25. 1 Stone was hand cut from a cliff across the river, hauled down the hill and across the Guyandotte River, and lifted into place by dozens of Italian immigrant stonemasons. 1 2

The new office building featured offices for the coal company, a post office, a poolroom, a barbershop, and a doctor’s office on the first floor with apartments on the second floor. 1 The company store sold everything for a miner’s family from food and clothing to furnishings and burial caskets. Items were sold on the first floor while the store’s office was located on the mezzanine. Large items, such as furniture, were stored on the third level. A small cafe was located on the ground floor.

By providing all of the goods and services in Itmann, Pocahontas Fuel was able to recover much of the money it paid in salaries. 1 It was also able to determine to a large extent the quality of life for its employees.

In 1958, the Pocahontas Coal Company was acquired by Consolidated Coal. 1 The company remodeled the office building in 1976, which involved installing sheet paneling over the plater walls, removing some of the original woodwork, and adding drop ceilings.

After Consolidated Coal’s successor, Island Creek Coal Company, closed the mines at Itmann in the mid-1980s, the post office was moved to another building. 1 The remainder of the complex were abandoned. For a time, the office building was utilized StoneHaven, a homeless shelter.

The Itmann Company Store and Office was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.






Further Reading


Sources

  1. United States. Dept. of the Interior. Itmann Company Store and Office. Comp. Mary E. Johnson. Washington: National Park Service, Jul. 1990. West Virginia Division of Culture and History.
  2. McGehee, C. Stuart. “Itmann Company Store.” e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia, 4 Dec. 2018.

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