New River, hydroelectric reservoir, Hawks Nest State Park, Fayette County, Ansted, West Virginia, USA.
Hawks Nest State Park is located in Fayette County near Ansted, West Virginia, USA. The park's clifftop overlook along U.S. Route 60 provides a scenic vista of the New River, some 750 feet (230 meters) below. The area is named for the Osprey that once nested in the cliffs. The Hawks Nest Dam seen just below the overlook was built to provide water for a hydroelectric plant to generate power for an electro-metallurgical plant at the town of Alloy, and dates to the 1930's. The tragic Depression-era Hawk's Nest incident: Construction of the tunnel, diverting waters of New River through Gauley Mt for hydroelectric power, resulted in West Virginia's worst industrial disaster. Silica rock dust caused 109 admitted deaths in the mostly black, migrant underground work force of 3,000. A Congressional hearing placed the death toll at 476 for the period from 1930 through 1935. The tragedy brought recognition of acute silicosis as an occupational lung disease, and compensation legislation to protect workers.Add to Cart Add to Lightbox Download