Welch (West Virginia)

Welch is a town of 2,863 people (as of 2000) in West Virginia, and the county seat of McDowell County. Incorporated in 1894, it was named for Confederate captain Isaiah A. Welch, who founded the city and was a leader in the area's coal development. Historically, Welch was a prosperous coal town, but the community fell on severely hard times when the coal boom of the early 20th century came to an end. The area still suffers from regular flooding, which has kept the economy depressed.

These days, the area has become well-known for its connection to author Homer Hickam Jr, a native of nearby Coalwood, whose 1998 autobiographical book Rocket Boys: A Memoir was adapted as the 1999 film October Sky.

Get in

Welch is located on US-52 between Williamson in the west and Bluefield in the east.

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Routes through Welch

Huntington Williamson  NW  SE  Bramwell Bluefield


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