Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Earthquake and Lost Community of Mineral

I wish I could say I felt the earthquake but I was in a Food Lion at the time. But, a few minutes afterward, the few shoppers and clerks were getting cell phone calls about it. When I got back home a few minutes later, my husband was outside checking around. He was up in his office when the quake shook the whole house for about 30 seconds. We found no damage.

I had just been reading about Mineral, Virginia where the quake was centered. It is one of those "Lost Communities of Virginia" (also the name of the book by Terri Fisher and Kirsten Sparenborg, a birthday present from my husband). Gold was discovered in Mineral about the time of the California Gold Rush and made the town. That led to other mining (sulphur, pyrite, iron, copper, etc.) and a railroad depot until that all died out. The trains just pass through now. What made the town come back somewhat was the nuclear plant built in the 70s and only 10 miles away. It was shut down today. Now, I guess Mineral has the distinction of being the center of the largest earthquake in Virginia. Our county of Giles used to have that distinction for a 5.8 quake back in 1897.

The book covers two lost communities, Eggleston and Newport, in my Giles County, Virginia. I wanted to read about them since I am running for public office, School Board, to represent the eastern district which comprises those two communities plus Pembroke. That's why I haven't posted too much. I am enjoying getting out and meeting the folks in these and other smaller communities in the mountains here.