Location: On State Line Ridge, an arm of Pine
Mountain which juts off to the south and joins Big Black Mountain, forming
the divide, not only for the states of Virginia and Kentucky, but the waters
of Big Sandy and Cumberland rivers as well. About five feet west of the
Virginia state line and same distance from the
Date: Tree is, nobody knows how old, but the story was woven around it about 1890.
Description: The tree is a spruce pine (commonly called Hemlock) and was about eighty feet tall; about ten feet around at the base. It was in the path of a forest fire some ten years ago and was so burnt that it died soon thereafter. About three years ago another fire broke out in the mountain timber and it, dry and dead, fell, a victim of the flames.
History: About 1889, with the first influx
of outsiders, John Fox, Jr., with his brothers, arrived at Big Stone Gap.
At that time the eyes of the entire country, particularly the capital and
wealth of the industrial north, was on Big Stone Gap and the surrounding
country. Coal had been discovered in great seams and three railroads were
racing to tap the wealth that lay hidden along the Powells and Guests River
and their tributaries.
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