Bluefield is located in southern West Virginia along the foothills of one of the most beautiful mountain valley settings to be found anywhere. The city stands at 2,612 feet above sea level in the East River Mountain, making it “West Virginia’s loftiest incorporated community.” (Greater Bluefield Area Community Profile) With the average temperature in January at 35o F and July at only 71o F, Bluefield is nicknamed “Nature’s Air Conditioned City.” In fact, a tradition of the Greater Bluefield Chamber of Commerce is to serve free lemonade to the residents and visitors when the temperature reaches an official 90o F. “It’s so seldom when the 90o [F] reading occurs that when the magic number is reached, the promotion often receives national publicity, particularly in the sweltering cities of the south.” (Bluefield, West Virginia and Virginia, 2)
Bluefield belongs to Mercer County, named in honor of General Hugh Mercer of the Revolution and is considered to be the “Gateway to Southern Hospitality and Black Gold.” Bluefield’s neighboring towns include Bluefield, VA, “Virginia’s Tallest Town;” Princeton, the county seat; and Bramwell, “The Millionaires Town”. According to the 1995 census, its population reaches almost 12,600, making it West Virginia’s seventh largest city. (Southern West Virginia’s Visitor’s Guide)
The city’s early history dates back to 1780 when two Revolutionary soldiers, Andrew Davidson and Richard Bailey, built the Davidson-Bailey Fort to protect their families from “hostile Indians.” It is said that soon afterwards, however, a band of Indians captured Mrs. Davidson and her two daughters. Along the way, she gave birth to a child, which the Indians drowned, and her daughters we...
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...Rhonda. Personal Interview. 22 Apr. 1999.
Historic Bramwell. West Virginia: Mercer County Convention and Visitors Bureau, n.d.
East River Mountain Overlook Park. West Virginia: Greater Bluefield Chamber of Commerce, n.d.
Greater Bluefield Area Community Profile. West Virginia: n.p., n.d.
Law, Ollie. Personal Interview. 20 Feb. 1999.
Nelson, James. Personal Interview. 21 Feb. 1999.
Rankin, John R. The Early History and Development of Bluefield, West Virginia. Virginia: Commonwealth Press, Inc., 1976.
Southern West Virginia’s Visitor’s Guide. West Virginia: Southern West Virginia Convention and Visitors Bureau, n.d.
West Virginia’s Historic Downtown Bluefield. West Virginia: Bluestone Convention and Visitors Bureau, n.d.
West Virginia’s Southern Gateway. West Virginia: Mercer County Convention and Visitors Bureau, n.d.
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