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Welch is a town in the Ash Heap region of Appalachia in 2102.

BackgroundEdit

Incorporated in 1894, Welch was named after Isaiah Welch, a former captain of the Confederate States Army who surveyed and helped establish the town at the confluence of Tug Fork and Elkhom Creek. When the mining industry exploded in Appalachia, Welch was at the center of the changes as a vital service and business hub for the entire population. The city entered its golden age, which lasted until mechanization started to deprive miners of jobs, leading to an ever-rising epidemic of poverty.[1]

By 2077, the process was in its terminal stages, with employment plummeting due to the replacement of human workers with robots. The situation steadily deteriorated as the replacement of human workers with robots advanced,[2] championed by Hornwright Industrial Mining Company. The future looked grim for workers: A transition to complete automation would be mandatory if Ballot Measure 6 in the November 2077 election passed.[3] Faced with loss of employment, the town's decline turned into a freefall when the new up-and-comer mining company Atomic Mining Services, supposed to revitalize the area and reenergize its economy, pulled out of a local project citing "technical failures."[4]

However, Automated Mining Services pursuit of ultracite meant they weren't gone for long. When earthquakes within the city revealed veins of raw ultracite - many simply bursting through the floors and walls of homes in Welch, further aggravating the terrifying property damage resulting from the quakes - AMS goons attempted to forcibly evict townspeople from their homes in order to extract the valuable ore, claiming that "they had resource rights to the land."[5][6] Faced with losing their homes after having already lost their livelihoods, at a time when the world was already facing food and resource shortages compounded by the Sino-American War,[7] the townspeople revolted against the agents of Automated Mining Services trying to evict them. The armed response by the Welch militia was the first shot in the new miner wars,[8][9] which spread like wildfire throughout the region[10] and brought the National Guard down to quell the unrest.

LayoutEdit

Welch is now a wasteland, nothing but a set of one and two-story buildings and their remnants, situated at the bottom of a cliff from Welch station. Ground fires are scattered and numerous in the area. Perched on the south-western slope of Mount Blair and has suffered in the earthquakes caused by AMS, which caused the entire western edge of the town to be torn apart by the shifting ground. Moving up requires navigating around the gaping maw in the ground, in order to gain access to the town. Following the tracks to Welch station is advised.

The cluster of towns in the downtown area is a confusing area full of blind spots, including boarded-up houses. The main square, so to speak, is the one with a weapons workbench, surrounded by a derelict gas station, post office, and bakery with an adjacent pawn shop. There is also a U-Mine-It! vending machine by the gas pumps on north side of town.

The two intact houses to the southeast contain a tinker's workbench and another weapons workbench. One of them is Evan's house, a long brick building uphill. A weapons workbench can be found against a garage west of the post office on "Elkhorn Street. Wooden catwalks connect several of the buildings on this street and ash rose can be found around the street and throughout the rest of the town. The Duchess' hideout is located at the collapsed back of a building west of town, down a cliff from most other houses. Its blue mailbox says "Z. Wilson."

Notable lootEdit

AppearancesEdit

Welch appears only in Fallout 76.

Behind the scenesEdit

Welch is a real-world town in McDowell County, West Virginia, of which it is the county seat. The in-game location is noticeably-smaller than its counterpart and lacks many notable locations such as the McDowell County Courthouse and the Welch Commercial Historic District. The city and therein McDowell County Coal were known in the 60's as a major source of fuel for the steel and electric power generation industries, but, like the in-game location, suffered loss of jobs in 1986, which led to miners leaving the town in search of employment elsewhere.

GalleryEdit

References

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