St. Charles Community Study

Coal has always been a central feature of the Appalachian region. Although the impact of coal is waning locally, many communities in this area owe their very existence to the once profitable local coal industry. Several once-thriving communities have faded into ruins since the decline of coal in this region. One prime example of such a community is St. Charles in Lee County. For several decades, St. Charles was a bustling community with a large population and a variety of attractions. Now, St. Charles is in decline. In Spring 2014, Professor McKnight’s Local/Appalachian History class made St. Charles a centerpiece of their coursework studying its history and conducting oral history interviews.