The Shameful History of Dingess Tunnel

The small community of Dingess in southwestern West Virginia has a darker past than most. It centers around the Dingess Tunnel outside of town, the site of countless acts of violence and intolerance in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. 

Few know the true story of this shameful part of “Bloody Mingo,” as people called the county. So please read on as we take a closer look at the troubling events at the Dingess Tunnel.

The community is less than 15 miles from the border but nearly 70 miles from Charleston, the state capital.

Where Is Dingess Tunnel? 

The founders established Dingess in the mid-19th century, with logging and mining as the primary draw to the remote, mountainous area.

About Dingess, West Virginia

Varying measurements put the length of the Dingess Tunnel at roughly 3,300 feet, depending on the exact starting point.

How Long is Tunnel?

Local stories tell of armed men “picking off” undesirable travelers as the train exited the tunnel, a tactic that reportedly resulted in hundreds of killings.

What Is the Dark History of the Dingess Tunnel? 

Unfortunately for the victims, few of the perpetrators faced justice for their crimes due to the area’s insular, protective community. 

Beyond these deliberate acts of violence, the single-track tunnel also saw at least two significant collisions, resulting in at least ten deaths.

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