Last updated: September 28, 2022
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Note: The tour stop is at Thurmond. Very little remains of McKendree Hospital and what does is located in an inaccessible location off of the McKendree Road, which is not maintained and may be impassible.
African American Heritage Driving Tour Stop 10: McKendree Miner's Hospital
African American workers were vital to the railroad and mining industries of West Virginia. The state’s economic base and identity was built on and around coal mining, and a third of those miners were black. When the C&O Railway opened the state for the mining and timber industries, the sparse rural medical services were quickly overwhelmed. With the establishment of West Virginia’s three state “miners” hospitals in 1891, healthcare for all coal miners and railroad workers became available.
Miner’s hospitals 1, 2 & 3 would be named for the towns where they were located; #1 the southern coalfields in Welch, #2 at the small mining town of McKendree in the heart of the New River Gorge, and #3 in the northern coalfields at Fairmont. McKendree Miners Hospital provided free medical care for coal miners and railroad workers, and charged $1.59 per day
for all other patients. The patients were divided into segregated wards; there were larger wards for males, smaller wards for females, and private rooms available only to pregnant women for deliveries. A segregated whites only two-year nurses’ training program was established at the hospital in 1910.
For the full story go to: The McKendree Miner's Hospital; McKendree, WV.
Other nearby places of interest:
Note: Tour stop is at Thurmond
Physical Address: Hwy 25/2, Thurmond, WV 25936
GPS Coordinates: N37.957095 -W81.078851
From Beckley, WV: Take Highway 19 north to the exit for Glen Jean. Turn right then left on to Highway 16/61 (there is an Exxon Station at this exit). Travel to first crossroads and turn right in to Glen Jean. Cross small bridge and turn left following brown signs to Thurmond (Highway 25). Travel 7 miles and cross the bridge over the New River. Tour Stop is at the Thurmond Depot.
From Fayetteville, WV: Take Highway 19 south to the exit for Greentown. Turn left at exit on to Highway 16/61 Travel 2 miles to crossroads and turn left in to Glen Jean. Cross small bridge and turn left following brown signs to Thurmond (Highway 25). Travel 7 miles and cross the bridge over the New River. Tour Stop is at the Thurmond Depot.
Directions to next Tour Stop:
Physical Address: 110 High School Drive, Mount Hope, WV 25880
GPS Coordinates: N37.898051 -W81.157067
From Thurmond, return to Glen Jean and turn left on Hwy 16 South. Travel 2.2 miles to Mount Hope and turn right on Virginia Street. Travel .1 of a mile and turn right on High School Drive. Tour Stop and parking is at gate entrance to Mount Hope High School.
McKendree Hospital (Audio Narration)
Written by: Richard Altare Narrated by: Adrienne Jenkins and Brucella Jordan (quote) Music: “Be You Self” - written by Lady D and Robert Gray Robert Gray - keyboard and bass Dan Bailey - guitar and bass Doris A. Fields (Lady D) - vocals
- Date created: