A West Virginia Town Applied For Soviet Foreign Aid, and Other Lesser Known American History Facts

Vulcan’s rickety swing bridge. Bridge Meister

39. Cut Off From the World

As a 1972 book described Vulcan, WV: “Their biggest problem was that the state had forgotten to build a road into the community. Although state maps showed a road into Vulcan, it was nowhere to be found. The only way people could get in and out was to drive up the Kentucky side and walk across a swinging bridge, which was too narrow for a vehicle. The bridge had been built by the coal company years before and was on the verge of collapse; although there were boards missing, the children had to walk across it to catch the school bus on the Kentucky side…

Lack of a road forced Vulcan’s children to crawl under parked railroad coal cars – which often blocked the community’s sole bridge – on their way to and from school. A kid lost a leg doing that. There was a side road that ran through Vulcan. However, it belonged to a railroad that placed it off limits, and vigorously prosecuted those who used it for trespass.