The town was founded on the abundant oil fields that once lay beneath the crust here. An enterprising capitalist bought up the land and began to drill for oil. Rail lines came in and soon the place was thriving. Of course the land was raped in the way that only the oil industry can commit such a crime. The town burned down not once, but twice. The first time it burned the community recovered, but the last time was it. There just wasn't enough oil remaining under the soil for any effort to be made to preserve and rebuild, and so Volcano was left to die. Which it quickly did.
Many people wring their hands over the destruction that Mankind has wrought on the natural world. And this worry is for good reason. But most of these people think that when we're done, and when we're gone, there will be no way for Nature to repair the damage.
But when we're done, and when we've killed ourselves off (which we assuredly will do), then the forests will move quickly in. Vegetation and rot and rust and rain and gravity and wind will soon scrub away all sign that we were even here.
If you don't believe me, walk the woods where once a thriving town and booming oil industry stood in a spot called Volcano, West Virginia.
|Hotel, Volcano, WV.|
|Power Station, Volcano WV.|
|Interior of the power station.|
|Town Hall, Volcano|
|Residences and oil derricks.|
|Homes, including that of one physician.|
|Part of the old downtown Volcano.|
|Here and there, you can see foundations and even the remains of rock-walled rooms.|
|To see what's left of this house, the mansion where the town's richest man once lived, see the photo below.|