Quirky Attraction: The Coal House in Williamson, WV

coal house williamson west virginia

The Coal House
Location: Williamson, West Virginia (2nd Ave. & Court St.)
When to visit: Daytime hours
Cost: Free to look at
Time needed to enjoy: 5 minutes
Website: Wikipedia page (unofficial)

Coal happens to be a highly-flammable substance. What on earth would possess someone to make an entire house out of coal?

I’m not sure, but the Coal House in Williamson, West Virginia, just across the Kentucky border, claims to be the only building made entirely of coal (there are a couple of other imposters, apparently.) It’s not even a “house,” in the sense that no one lives there. It serves as the home of the Tug Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Williamson Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The building was constructed in 1933 out of 65 tons of coal and features a large arched doorway. It’s on the National Register of Historic Places.

Here’s a big surprise – the structure caught fire and was severely damaged in 2010. You can’t escape the irony – it’s sort of like building a house out of paper and being mad when it blows away, no?

Don’t fret – the county spent $200k to restore the house, so it’s still going strong.

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4 Responses to Quirky Attraction: The Coal House in Williamson, WV

  1. InsideJourneys February 17, 2012 at 9:10 pm #

    A house actually made of coal — that must be a sight. But 200K to restore? Pricey!
    InsideJourneys recently posted..Weekly Photo Challenge: Down

    • Scott February 19, 2012 at 12:15 pm #

      It is a little odd they would spend so much, considering the other ways that money might have been spent in the community!

  2. Paula (Americana the Beautiful( February 18, 2012 at 8:12 pm #

    Thank you soooo much for this post. I struggled with the desire to go check this out and the realities of time and geography. The latter two won. I now feel I’ve seen enough, through your perspective and camera lens. And… sigh.

    • Scott February 19, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

      I probably wouldn’t make a big detour to check it out, but it’s worth seeing if you are close by. Thanks for reading!

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