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Dingess, West Virginia facts for kids

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Dingess, West Virginia
Country United States
State West Virginia
County Mingo
971 ft (296 m)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 304 & 681
GNIS feature ID 1554306
Dingess tunnel standard
The old Sane Dingess Tunnel as it served the 2 Pole Line of the Norfolk & Western Railway between Lenore and Wayne, WV.

Dingess is an unincorporated community in Mingo County, West Virginia, United States. Dingess is 11 miles (18 km) north of Delbarton. Dingess has a post office with ZIP code 25671.

Dingess is known throughout the area for a tunnel on a county road south of the town. Originally built for railroad use, it has been opened to one lane vehicular traffic for many years.

Dingess Depot
The old Dingess Train Depot
Dingess Tunnel Approach
The Dingess Tunnel as it looks today, with paved road and serving single lane traffic.
Dingess Petroglyphs
The Dingess Petroglyphs


The community was named after William Dingess, a pioneer settler.

As of 1894, Dingess contained two hotels, eight boarding houses, four restaurants, four groceries, four saw mills, and a school with two teachers and about 100 students. 133 coal miners lived in Dingess.

The community once garnered a reputation for being a lawless land. In his book They’ll Cut Off Your Project, Huey Perry, wrote “Old-timers there said it was common practice to have a killing once a month. As ‘Uncle’ Jim Marcum described it, ‘Why, a colored person couldn’t think about riding through Dingess. They would stop the train, take him off and shoot him, and nobody would say a word. Why, they would even stop the train and take all its cargo. It was a wild country then, and it ain’t much better now.’”

From 1900 to 1972, approximately seventeen lawmen were shot to death in the area which stretches fifteen miles along Twelve Pole Creek.

IN 1901, robbers raided the community, dynamiting a large safe. According to a November 23, 1901, edition of the Bluefield Daily Telegraph: "Citizens were on the scene almost immediately after the heavy report, and the burglars hadn’t time to gather up their booty as a number of citizens opened fire and probably forty shots were exchanged. The burglars, who secured a lot of valuable jewelry, escaped on a hand car which was recovered later four miles from Dingess, and on which blood spots were plainly visible.

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