Union Carbide

December 26, 1917: Instrument Maker Harold Hayslett Born

Dec 26, 2018
One of Hayslett's cellos earned the society’s prestigious gold medal for tone. In 1996, filmmaker Robert Gates took an in-depth look at Hayslett’s life and work in the documentary Building a Cello with Harold.
E-WV / Humanities Council

Harold Hayslett was born in Putnam County on December 26, 1917. After serving in France during World War II, he worked as a pipefitter for Union Carbide in South Charleston. He retired in 1980 after 33 years of service.

While working at Carbide, he started a side hobby—making violins, cellos, and other instruments. His reputation spread quickly—first locally, and then worldwide. The Violin Society of America honored Hayslett on several occasions.

E-WV, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

On July 9, 1936, the electric power plant at Union Carbide’s metallurgical plant in Alloy went into operation. The power at the Fayette County plant was generated by water, which flowed through the manmade Hawks Nest Tunnel. Most of the tunnel’s construction had occurred between 1930 and 1932—primarily by black laborers from the South.

June 9, 1957: Pastor T.D. Jakes Born in South Charleston

Jun 15, 2017
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

On June 9, 1957, pastor T. D. Jakes was born in South Charleston. He developed an avid interest in the ministry as a young boy, preaching to imaginary congregations. After graduating from West Virginia State College, he started his first church. The Greater Emmanuel Temple of Faith opened in a Montgomery storefront in 1980 with a congregation of 10. Two years later, the Union Carbide plant where Jakes worked closed, and he pursued the ministry full time.

Hundreds of men died from a debilitating lung disease known as silicosis.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / WV Humanities Council

On February 2, 1946, novelist Hubert Skidmore died at age 36. In the late 1930s and early ’40s, the Webster County native wrote several novels featuring West Virginia settings.

A common theme was the endurance of mountain people in the face of adversity. His best-known book never reached the public during his lifetime. Hawk’s Nest is a fictionalized account of what has been described as America’s worst industrial accident.

at least 476 men died of silicosis while working in the tunnel
E-WV / WV Humanities Council

On January 25, 1936, Newsweek magazine ran a story about deadly cases of silicosis associated with the Hawks Nest Tunnel construction in Fayette County.

It was the first time many Americans had heard of the tunnel disaster, which the magazine attributed to an “atmosphere of deadly dust.”

December 3, 1984: Bhopal, The Worst Industrial Accident in History

Dec 3, 2015
Wikimedia commons

On December 3, 1984, a leak at a Union Carbide insecticide plant in Bhopal, India, released a large cloud of a chemical known as MIC. It killed at least 3,000 people—although, these numbers may be low—and injured perhaps more than a half-million.

e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

On July 9, 1936, the electric power plant at Union Carbide’s metallurgical plant in Alloy went into operation. The power at the Fayette County plant was generated by water, which flowed through the manmade Hawks Nest Tunnel. Most of the tunnel’s construction had occurred between 1930 and 1932—primarily by black laborers from the South.

Bayer CropScience, Institute
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency / via U.S. Chemical Safety Board

Bayer CropScience says it plans to sell its Institute Industrial Park to Union Carbide. But the company will continue to operate its thiodicarb unit at the site as a tenant.

Terms of the transaction announced Monday weren't disclosed.

Bayer says in a statement to media outlets that the plant's operations, including utilities and security, will be transferred to Union Carbide in a phased turnover. Union Carbide is expected to assume full operation of the site by mid-2016.

Harry Schaefer, Environmental Protection Agency / wikimedia Commons

  State regulators have approved Union Carbide's plan to clean up a former warehouse and drum storage facility in Charleston.

The Department of Environmental Protection says Union Carbide operated the facilities at the former Kelly Field Site from the late 1940s to the early 1990s. The property is now vacant.