Rocket Boys: A Memoir Setting & Symbolism

Homer Hickam
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Coalwood, West Virginia

An unincorporated coal mining town built for the purpose of extracting tons of the bituminous coal underneath it in McDowell County, West Virginia. In 1957, during the time of the rocket boys, the town had 2000 inhabitants, all coal miners and their families. Coalwood was founded in 1905 by Mr. George L. Carter, who rode into the wilderness area on the back of a mule and, after digging and discovering bituminous coal, bought the land and constructed a mine. He built houses, school buildings, churches, a company store, a bakery and an ice house. Then he hired a doctor and dentist. Homes, medical and dental, and community services were provided free to miners and their families. Eventually a football field and school playground were added. Coalwood exists to mine coal, which is the only thing more important in Coalwood than high school football.

Sonny Hickham's House

The Hickham...

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This section contains 1,872 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Rocket Boys: A Memoir Study Guide
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