Since the founding of Pounding Mill
Quarry Corporation in 1913 by C. M. Hunter, concern for his
employees and for the community his quarries serve, has been a top
priority. This program started by Mr. C. M. Hunter still holds true
in 1998: the Hunter family which has lived in Tazewell County for
three generations still places the needs of the county as a
Located in Southwest Virginia, Tazewell County
was one of the first of the top coal producing counties but in the
1990’s when King Coal fell from its throne, the Tazewell County
School Systems and the Southwest Virginia Community College suffered
state and county budget cuts. It became apparent to the Hunters
that, as an employer of the county, they must somehow help
It would have been easier just to send a check
to Southwest Virginia Community College and to buy the local school
system a few computers, but the impact would have been temporary.
The Hunters wanted to make a lasting impact on the community -
something that would last as long as they had been in the quarry
From the start of the company’s decision to
become involved, it followed a path of assistance to the educational
providers in the area. After conferring with the superintendent of
schools and the president of the community college, it seemed that
following the quarry’s normal course of business could provide the
greatest help to them.
The superintendent of schools had outline the
need for drilling and excavation work on a lot at he Richlands
education complex, which houses Richlands High, Richlands Middle,
and Richlands Elementary Schools. The project would have provided an
additional area for physical education classes for Richlands Middle
and Elementary Schools, as well as providing a badly needed practice
field for the football team. The project was scrapped because its
cost exceeded the amount of money available. At this point, Pounding
Mill Quarry moved in with the manpower and much-need equipment to
make this project a reality.
Pounding Mill Quarry was able to help solve
another of the school superintendent’s problems. The vocational
center wanted to provide a heavy equipment servicing program but was
unable to because of budget restrictions. Even without the budget
restrictions, it was impossible to buy air compressors and loaders
to be used for hands-on training.
need coincided with Pounding Mill Quarry’s decision to place some of
its older equipment in an auction sale. The company decided to give
the county’s vocational school two loaders and one air compressor.
Pounding Mill also assisted the school in the acquisition of parts
for the repair of these pieces of equipment. This program has been
implemented and has succeeded.
The subdivision across from the companies
Pounding Mill, Virginia facility had no school bus service because
the roads were not apart of the Virginia Department of
Transportation’s system. The streets were in need of repair and the
local school board could not allow buses to travel on them until
regular maintenance was provided.
The quarry working in cooperation with the
Tazewell County Board of Education agreed to maintain these roads.
This agreement resulted in school bus service in the neighboring
subdivision and continued until the streets were incorporated into
the Virginia Department of Transportation’s system.
The local community college had entered into a
fund raiser called Fulfill The Vision. This project would
enable the college to do several projects without the use of state
funds. The college asked Pounding Mill Quarry Corporation to help in
drilling rock that stood in the way of expansion. The company gladly
lent a hand; as a result, Southwest Virginia Community College will
be able to complete this project without the using instructional
In September of 1995, the Tazewell County School
system called upon us to be one of the local industries to help with
a newly established educational/business partnership. In the
beginning we were hesitant about participating, but agree now that
it was money well spent. The educational materials about the
Virginia aggregate industry, reading software provided to
Springville Elementary and the communications equipment purchased
for Dudley Primary demonstrates the role of Pounding Mill Quarry
corporation in the community.
The surprise has been the participation of
employees from Pounding Mill Quarry with both schools. These
activities included judging pumpkin contests, presentations to
classes, reading activities and in services for staff. I understand
that a Springville Elementary stated to their parents as they passed
our Bluefield, Virginia facility that we were their business
partner. Such community relations as this can not be purchased
through the media.
We were especially impressed with the sign on
the marquee recently at Springville Elementary, which stated "Our
solid rock is Pounding Mill Quarry, Thanks". We sent news articles
as well as photographs to both the Virginia and National Aggregate
Associations to demonstrate how quarries and educational
partnerships can be mutually beneficial.
After many years of being involved in many
community projects, we finally decided to let people, who think of
Pounding Mill Quarry Corporation as the industry that crushes rock,
creates dust and makes noise, know what good we do. At the
recommendation of the Richlands Area Chamber of Commerce we choose
to use a Business After Hours Reception, at the local country club,
to be our platform. The event was well attended and received by
community leaders, politicians, educators and area business people.
Through education, involvement and example Pounding Mill Quarry
Corporation is earning our communities respect.
As an employer, the company is proud to have a
continuing impact within the communities where we do business. By
being a good neighbor, the company has learned the way to help our
communities is to work within our areas of expertise. Pounding Mill
Quarry Corporation owners and employees are proud to live and work
in Virginia and West Virginia being involved and conscience of the
community around us.
By 1968, Pounding Mill had its’ most successful
year under the direction of Mr. C. M. (Budge) Hunter who had taken
over the company after the death of his father in
The third quarry operation was acquired from
Pendleton Construction Company who had operated it during the
construction of I-77. This plant in Rocky Gap would serve the
construction and agriculture market in Bland and Giles
In September of 1984, Pounding Mill concluded
the negotiations for its’ fourth quarry with the purchase of Mercer
Crushed Stone, a West Virginia Corporation, which is located near
Ingleside, West Virginia in Mercer County.
This latest acquisition assures the company of a
larger presence in the West Virginia Market. The plant will serve
construction and mining markets in the areas of Bluefield, Beckley,
and Princeton, West Virginia.
It’s 1998 and a safe bet to say that if he were
alive today, Mr. C. M. Hunter, Sr. would not recognize the company
he started in 1913. He would no doubt be exceedingly proud of the
work his sons and grandsons have done. He would also, no doubt, be
proud of the pride and commitment of Pounding Mill Quarries
employees who have kept the company at the top of the Virginia’s
quarry industry for nearly half a century.