"The Tunnel at Light"

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This stamp commemorates the great tunnel at Light, West Virginia.

Early in the history of the settlement of the Poca River Valley, the trip from the villages of the Poca River to the larger town of Ripely was very arduous. One had to drive south to Eleanor, then northeast to Kenna, and finally, north to Ripely. This trip could take a full day even after the advent of the automobile.

The people of the Poca Valley decided that they needed a more direct route to Ripely. There was a road from Grimms Landing to the village of Knox which sat on the western side of Staats Knob. There was, also, a road from Light, on the east side of Staats Knob, to Ripely. The decision was made to construct a tunnel under Staats Knob, creating a direct route to Ripely.

This was undertaken in 1909. Since there was full employment in the coal mines, the miners were not available to assist in the tunneling. As a result inexperienced people designed and constructed the tunnel, which was two years in the making.

The tunnel was a great success for a while. The village of Light, at the eastern end of the tunnel, became a boom town. However, in 1916 the tunnel collapsed, and the bright days of Light faded. Nevertheless, the town is still known as "Light at the End of the Tunnel."

The stamp is issued in a pane of 16 stamps in the denomination of 22 pu.


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