Skaggs Hole tunnel, reboot

When I first posted Skaggs Hole tunnel, I didn’t know how much I wasn’t seeing.  We had to be up in the Bartlick area anyway (my buddy had spotted some old mines on the topo and wanted to check them out…luckily, they were mostly intact and he got his pictures), so I took the chance to walk down and redo the tunnel.  First, some maps show it as “Skegg’s Hole” and some “Skaggs Hole”.  Let’s let the highway department decide the issue:









There now.  On to the tunnel.  This is the south face looking toward the bridge over the Russell Fork. The tunnel, 519′ long, centers at 37.256522, -82.327300.











Note the date on the lintel is 1931.  This is when the railroad made some significant improvements to this tunnel.  A culvert just behind where I’m standing has a set-in-concrete (seriously) date of 1913 and the bridge beyond also has a date set in the abutment concrete of 1913.  This is when the tunnel was cut out and jibes with Goforth’s date range for the Elkhorn City extension of the Clinchfield.  This is looking out of the north face of the tunnel to the bridge over the river.








Here’s the north portal, wide view, showing Skagg’s Hole, which I believe is a deep area in the river to the left at this bend. You can just see the river, about 30′ below.

Tunnel #4 Skaggs Hole tunnel

Here we are at Skaggs Hole (or just Skaggs or Skeggs) Tunnel, all 519′ of it.  This one’s near Bartlick in Dickenson County. It was faced up in 1931. It’s centered at 37.256862, -82.327199.   A trestle comes into the tunnel over the Russell Fork River…we’re about 7 miles, trackwise, from Elkhorn City. It was a long side road drive to get access to this one.  We’d parked our car and were standing at the track kind of looking down the line when a motorcycle came up.  Lee flagged the guy down and asked him about the tunnel.  The guy knew where the tunnel was and gave us great directions.  He worked in Kingsport, it turned out, but he lived in Bartlick, with his new bride.  Nice guy.

The other portal of Skaggs Tunnel.  Stand here, turn around, and you’ll be looking down the track as the old Clinchfield rolled south.  We’ll be rolling south, also, as we head on down to Hills Mills and Russell Tunnels.  Did I mention how cool, temperature-wise, these tunnels are on a hot day?  And they’re bloody freezing in winter…literally freezing.  And Skaggs Hole, by the way, is a feature in the river near the tunnel’s Elkhorn City portal.