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Encyclopedia > Bluefield, West Virginia
Bluefield, West Virginia
Founded 1889
State West Virginia
County Mercer
Mayor Bob Perkinson
http://www.ci.bluefield.wv.us

Bluefield is a city located in Mercer County, West Virginia. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 11,451. It is also the core city of the Bluefield WV-VA micropolitan area which has a population of 107,578. The micropolitan area is the 350th largest statistical population area and the thirty-third largest micropolitan area in the United States. Image File history File links Bluefield_Seal. ... Image File history File links WVMap-doton-Bluefield. ... 1889 (MDCCCLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... Official language(s) English Capital Charleston Largest city Charleston Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 41st 62,809 km² 210 km 385 km 0. ... Mercer County is a county located in the state of West Virginia. ... Mercer County is a county located in the state of West Virginia. ... United States micropolitan areas, as defined by the Census Bureau and the Office of Management and Budget, are areas in the United States based around a core city or town with a population of 10,000 to 49,999. ...

Contents


Geography

Bluefield is located at 37°15'44" North, 81°13'7" West (37.262219, -81.218674)GR1. The following is a list of sources used in the creation of Wikipedia articles on various geographic topics and locations, such as cities, counties, states, and countries. ...


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 22.6 km² (8.7 mi²). 22.6 km² (8.7 mi²) of it is land and none of the area is covered with water. The United States Census Bureau (officially Bureau of the Census) is a part of the United States Department of Commerce. ... Square kilometre (US spelling: Square kilometer), symbol km², is an SI unit of surface area. ... A square mile is an Imperial unit of area equal to that of a square with sides each 1 statute mile (5,280 feet, 1,760 yards, 1,609. ...


Demographics

As of the censusGR2 of 2000, there were 11,451 people, 5,038 households, and 3,078 families residing in the city. The population density was 506.4/km² (1,311.3/mi²). There were 5,966 housing units at an average density of 263.9/km² (683.2/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 75.84% White, 22.14% African American, 0.12% Native American, 0.56% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.21% from other races, and 1.13% from two or more races. 0.52% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. A census is the process of obtaining information about every member of a population (not necessarily a human population). ... The following is a list of sources used in the creation of Wikipedia articles on various geographic topics and locations, such as cities, counties, states, and countries. ... The United States Census Bureau uses the federal governments definitions of race when performing a census. ... The United States Census Bureau uses the federal governments definitions of race when performing a census. ... The United States Census Bureau uses the federal governments definitions of race when performing a census. ... The United States Census Bureau uses the federal governments definitions of race when performing a census. ... The United States Census Bureau uses the federal governments definitions of race when performing a census. ... The United States Census Bureau uses the federal governments definitions of race when performing a census. ... The United States Census Bureau uses the federal governments definitions of race when performing a census. ... The United States Census Bureau uses the federal governments definitions of race when performing a census. ...


There were 5,038 households out of which 24.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.5% were married couples living together, 13.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.9% were non-families. 34.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.23 and the average family size was 2.87. The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ...


The age distribution is 21.5% under the age of 18, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 23.5% from 25 to 44, 24.5% from 45 to 64, and 21.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 84.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.5 males.


The median income for a household in the city was $27,672, and the median income for a family was $36,508. Males had a median income of $31,396 versus $21,051 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,751. 19.3% of the population and 13.0% of families were below the poverty line. 28.2% of those under the age of 18 and 10.9% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line. The per capita income for a group of people may be defined as their total personal income, divided by the total population. ... Map of countries showing percentage of population who have an income below the national poverty line The poverty line is the level of income below which one cannot afford to purchase all the resources one requires to live. ...


History

The history of Bluefield begins in the 1780s, when two families settled in a rugged and remote part of southern West Virginia, and built a small village with a mill, a church, a one-room schoolhouse, and a fort for defending the small settlement against invasions by the much larger Shawnee indian tribe on the banks of the Bluestone River. The Davidson and Bailey family had to sell a portion of their land when in 1882, Captain John Fields, of the Norfolk and Western Railroad pioneered the area and began building a new railroad through the hills of Bluefield (named after the chicory flowers in the area that painted the landscape in a purplish blue hue during the summer) and nearby Harman, Virginia.


Underneath the feet of the Davidsons and Baileys lie the largest and richest deposit of bituminous coal in the world - the soft burning coal which was ripe for fueling the industrial machines of the developing world. The first mine was discovered in nearby Pocahontas, Virginia, in the backyard of Jordan Nelson, which was in the words of President Frederick Kimball of the Norfolk and Western Company, the "most spectacular find on the continent and indeed perhaps of the entire planet". The seam is mentioned in Thomas Jefferson's Notes on the State of Virginia, but it was not mined until 1890.


Around that time the coal mines that soon opened up in the area, around Harman, Bluefield, War, and Pocahontas, were known as the Pocahontas coal fields, and they helped drive the entire Industrial Revolution in the United States, and fueled the US and British Navies during both World Wars. The herculean effort to extract the coal from the mountains created a vast civilization, bringing immigrant European workers to the mountains in search of work, and literally, overnight, a metropolis was born. Today's Bluefield does not resemble the Bluefield of long past because today's Bluefield is a sleepy town, almost a ghost town compared to the hustle and bustle of the years from 1890 to 1960, the coal rush years.


So-called "Summit City", because of its high elevation, and its naturally sloping divides in the coal yards, Bluefield became one of the first cities in the world to have a noticeable skyline - with high rises that were only comparable to New York and Chicago in their day. Today, those high rises remain, but they are nowhere near the height which are common in most modern American cities today.


The city's growth was phenomenal. In a one year period from 1887 to 1888, passenger travel along the railroad escalated an astonishing 317%. Like San Francisco of the gold rush period in California, Bluefield became a city that sprung up overnight, and it far outpaced the infrastructure available to it at the time. Urban sprawl and blight were common complaints in the early days.


Unfortunately, Bluefield was not a city that had control over its own destiny. That rested entirely with the giant Norfolk and Western Railroad, and it depended on the whims of the international market. When coal tonnage was good and the market for coal was booming, Bluefield was literally a "Little New York" as it was called in the day. A bustling metropolis, it had a nightlife and a personality that was a little bit Chicago, a little bit New York, and a whole lot of Pittsburgh - rugged and with steel and coal embedded in its soul.


In 1889, the city of Bluefield, West Virginia was officially incorporated. The city government was always known in those days as being corrupt, inefficient, and was quite a scandalous affair, with drunken brawls and fights breaking out on the floor of City Hall on an almost daily basis.


With a strong ethnic community, Bluefield was the site of the 1895 founding of the Bluefield Colored Institute, the nation's first college with primarily black students. That college is today's Bluefield State College, and the site of a 1960s terrorist bombing.


The coal boom fueled a wave of money into the area, and nearby Bramwell, a small suburb of Bluefield, boasted itself as the Millionaire's Town, because more people per capita lived here than anywhere else in the nation that had over a million dollars in annual assets - a huge sum for that day and age - underscoring the significance of this city that today means little to national history. The city also had more automobiles per capita than any other city in the country at the time, which meant that in the early days, Bluefield knew more than any other city could ever want to know about the five o'clock traffic jam. They had them before New York even dreamed of having them.


During the 1920s, the most impressive high rise in Bluefield history was built, the twelve story opulent West Virginia Hotel, now the West Virginia Manor and Retirement Home. It was one of the first "skyscrapers" in the area, and one of the tallest buildings in the world at the time.


In 1924, nearby Graham,Virginia decided to rename itself Bluefield, Virginia to try and cash in on the opulent growth of its neighbor on the West Virginia side of the line. Additionally, Nobel-prize-winning economist and mathematician John Forbes Nash was born in Bluefield in 1928. Bluefield is a town located in Tazewell County, Virginia, along the Bluestone River. ... John Forbes Nash Jr. ...


The Great Depression however, broke the city's back. With the government nearly bankrupt, and series of devastating structural fires that swept through the downtown area and nearly took down every high rise the city had so feverishly built, the city was nearly destroyed. It was not until World War II came that the coal fires started burning again.


The importance of the city was so great that Adolf Hitler even put Bluefield on its reputed list of German air raid targets in the United States. Air raid practice drills were common in the city during this time, as anyone living from those days can clearly recall.


Ironically, the worst thing to happen to Bluefield was the interstate road system, which finally punched through East River Mountain in the 1960s and allowed for the first time automobile traffic in and out of the city without the need for crossing the top of the mountain. The dependence on railroad traffic waned and the city began to shrink up in size, losing its Amtrak station in the 1980s and the railroad's declining importance in people's lives meant the city shriveled to a ghost of its former size.


Education

Educational institutions include Bluefield High School and Bluefield State College. Bluefield State College is an historically black college located in Bluefield, West Virginia. ...


Sports

Bluefield is the home of the Bluefield Orioles minor league baseball team which plays their home games at Bowen Field. The Bluefield Orioles, a professional baseball team, is a minor league affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, representing the twin cities of Bluefield, West Virginia and Bluefield, Virginia. ... A Class A California League game in San Jose, California (1994) Minor baseball leagues are North American professional baseball leagues that compete at a level below that of Major League Baseball. ... Bowen Field is a stadium in Bluefield, Virginia. ...


Bluefield is largely as football town and the rivalry between the Bluefield Beavers and their sister city Bluefield, Virginia's Graham G-Men always draw a large crowd at Mitchell Stadium. 2005 also saw the introduction of the Bluefield Barons, an Alliance Football League team. Bluefield is a town located in Tazewell County, Virginia, along the Bluestone River. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Bluefield Barons are a semi-professional football team that plays in the Alliance Football League (formerly the Appalachian League) and had their inaugural start in 2005. ... The Aliance Football League (AFL) is a semi-pro football league the currently consisting of nine teams in the Tennessee, West Virginia, Georgia, and Alabama areas. ...


Bluefield is also home to the East River Soccer Complex which has five fields and hosts local high school and college soccer games. An NCAA tournament game between Indiana University and the University of Tulsa in 2004 College soccer is a term used to describe soccer that is played by teams operated by colleges and universities as opposed to a professional league operated for exclusively financial purposes. ...


External links

  • City of Bluefield
  • The Greater Bluefield Chamber of Commerce
  • Bluefield State College
  • Bluefield High School
  • Bluefield Orioles
  • Bluefield Barons
  • Mercer County Soccer
  • Bluefield.Net
  • BluefieldWV.Net

Coordinates: 37.262219° N -81.218674° E Map of Earth showing lines of latitude (horizontally) and longitude (vertically); large version (pdf) The geographic (earth-mapping) coordinate system expresses every horizontal position on Earth by two of the three coordinates of a spherical coordinate system which is aligned with the spin axis of the Earth. ...

  • Maps and aerial photos
    • Street map from Google Local or Yahoo! Maps
    • Topographic map from TopoZone
    • Aerial image or topographic map from TerraServer-USA
    • Satellite image from Google Local or Microsoft Virtual Earth
Flag of West Virginia

State of West Virginia
Cities | Towns | Villages | Census-designated places | Governors | Colleges and universities Image File history File links Flag_of_West_Virginia. ... A state of the United States (U.S. state) is any one of the fifty states, four of which officially favor the term commonwealth which, along with the District of Columbia, form the United States of America. ... Official language(s) English Capital Charleston Largest city Charleston Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 41st 62,809 km² 210 km 385 km 0. ... List of cities in West Virginia, arranged in alphabetical order. ... List of towns in West Virginia, arranged in alphabetical order. ... List of villages in West Virginia, arranged in alphabetical order. ... List of census-designated places in West Virginia, arranged in alphabetical order. ... This is a list of Governors of West Virginia Categories: Lists of United States governors | Governors of West Virginia ... This is a list of colleges and universities in the U.S. state of West Virginia. ...

Flag of West Virginia
Regions
Allegheny Mountains | Allegheny Plateau | Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area | Cumberland Plateau | Eastern Panhandle | Northern Panhandle | Potomac Highlands | Ridge-and-valley Appalachians | Southern West Virginia
Major cities
Charleston | Huntington | Parkersburg | Wheeling
Counties
Barbour | Berkeley | Boone | Braxton | Brooke | Cabell | Calhoun | Clay | Doddridge | Fayette | Gilmer | Grant | Greenbrier | Hampshire | Hancock | Hardy | Harrison | Jackson | Jefferson | Kanawha | Lewis | Lincoln | Logan | Marion | Marshall | Mason | McDowell | Mercer | Mineral | Mingo | Monongalia | Monroe | Morgan | Nicholas | Ohio | Pendleton | Pleasants | Pocahontas | Preston | Putnam | Raleigh | Randolph | Ritchie | Roane | Summers | Taylor | Tucker | Tyler | Upshur | Wayne | Webster | Wetzel | Wirt | Wood | Wyoming

  Results from FactBites:
 
Bluefield, West Virginia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1402 words)
Today's Bluefield does not resemble the Bluefield of long past because today's Bluefield is a sleepy town, almost a ghost town compared to the hustle and bustle of the years from 1890 to 1960, the coal rush years.
Bluefield is the home of the Bluefield Orioles minor league baseball team which plays their home games at Bowen Field.
Bluefield is largely as football town and the rivalry between the Bluefield Beavers and their sister city Bluefield, Virginia's Graham G-Men always draw a large crowd at Mitchell Stadium.
Bluefield, Virginia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1017 words)
The town was renamed Bluefield in 1924 during a marriage ceremony, which was held in the city park to celebrate the renaming of the community to match its sister city across the West Virginia state line.
Bluefield, Virginia's most famous residents are Bill Dudley, an NFL Hall of Famer who now coaches the city's semi-professional football team, the Bluefield Barons; and the widow of the late western actor Loren Green, who lives in a mansion atop a hill overlooking the town's most historic home, the Sanders house.
The Bluefield Orioles, a minor league baseball team, play their home games at Bowen Field, a stadium in the city park that serves both Bluefield and its neighbor of the same name in West Virginia.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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