The 1970’s weren’t the good ole days for everybody in West Virginia. We found these 12 photos, mostly from the Kanawha River Valley, that show just how hard life was for those living in poverty here.

1. This was Rand (just south of Charleston) in 1973.

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2. Before “revitalization”

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3. Life wasn’t easy

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4. This was just four years before Randy Moss was born here

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5. Far from the glittering lights of Charleston’s Capitol Street

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6. Lots of broken down cars

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7. NBA star Jason Williams grew up in nearby Belle (this photo is Rand)

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8. Coal miners in Madison, Boone County lived in these trailers

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9. Many towns didn’t have water treatment plants yet and dumped raw sewage into rivers, here into the Kanawha.

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10. Other people just dumped trash into the river.

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11. This was a scene along Rt. 61 in Kanawha County

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12. This was a house in Alloy in Fayette County. You can see smoke from the Union Carbide plant rising in the background

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13. But country boys (and girls) will survive.

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Today, 1 in 4 American children still live in poverty.

All photos via The National Archives/Public Domain

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