Tucked away inside an abandoned and collapsing funeral home in the coalfields of West Virginia is a beautiful 1963 Chevrolet Impala. Based on the license plate, it has not been registered since 1989.
The Impala was Chevrolet’s most expensive passenger car and one of the best-selling cars in the United States during that time. For the 1963 model year, the vehicle was restyled and was similar in appearance to contemporary Cadillacs that emphasized the length of the vehicle. It wasn’t a fluke: the resemblance was attributed to Cadillac designer Dave Holls who temporarily stood in for Chevrolet designer Clare MacKichan while he recuperated from an automobile accident.
As for the funeral home itself, it hasn’t seen activity in decades, mostly for a lack of business and population. The town it was located in was a regional center that served the surrounding coal company towns and included wholesale grocers, retail stores, saloons, and entertainment venues. It peaked at 2,500 residents in 1950 and gradually declined as local mines began to mechanize and then close after the reserves were tapped out. By 2020, the town boasted just over 200 citizens.