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James Elwood Jones House

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c. 1900. Overlooking Switchback from the northeast

Virtually inaccessible on a high ridge above Switchback, and visible only in winter, this expansive, multigabled frame house overlooks a once thriving coal town that Jones owned. Its major space is a large, multiwindowed, wraparound parlor—essentially an enclosed porch—which appears in part to be a later modification. From its large plate glass windows, framed by stained glass panels depicting flowers and vines, Jones could see the entrances to all five of his area mines. A horticulturist as well as mine owner, he embellished his yard with rare trees and plants, most of which survive. Jones (1872–1932), a coal operator and later vice president of the Pocahontas Fuel Company, is fondly remembered for his efforts to improve living and working conditions for his miners and their families. He founded a publicly funded dental clinic and presented ten scholarships a year for area students to attend West Virginia University.

Writing Credits

S. Allen Chambers Jr.

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