ITMANN, W.Va. (WBOY) — Deep in the hills of West Virginia’s Cumberland Mountains lies one of many once-booming coal towns that suffered from the decline of the coal industry. One of these towns, Itmann in Wyoming County, is built around a large stone building that served as an economic and community hub for its residents.
Itmann was founded as a coal camp in 1916 by the Pocahontas Fuel Company (now CONSOL). The president of the company had 120 dwellings built to house his employees, which eventually led the camp to bloom into the town of Itmann, named after a shortening of the President’s name—Isaac T. Mann.
With the town’s construction came the need for workers to get supplies to feed their families as well as general local office space for company operations. As such, the construction of a joint, dual-service building was planned at the center of the town in 1923 with Alex Mahood named as its head architect.
Mahood is known for designing several other famed West Virginia buildings such as West Virginia University’s Creative Arts Center in Morgantown and The West Virginian Hotel in Bluefield, according to the West Virginia Encyclopedia.
According to the National Register of Historic Places, work on the Company Store was finally completed in 1925 and operations continued through the town mine’s closure in 1928. Nicknamed “The Castle of the Coalfields,” the building held multiple functions on top of just being a store and office space. Within the office wing of the building, there was a poolroom, barber shop, doctor’s office and post office.
Mine operations resumed in 1950 and ran until 1986 when the company closed the mine and effectively abandoned the building. The company was officially added to the registry in 1990. The property was purchased by former West Virginia Senator Billy Wayne Bailey in 1987 who maintained it for multiple tenants over the years such as the U.S. Post Office.
The property is currently listed for sale by FoxFire Realty with an asking price of $499,000. 12 News was able to get in touch with WV Explorer publisher and realtor David Sibray who provided pictures and information about the property.