|• Total||7.02 sq mi (18.17 km2)|
|• Land||7.01 sq mi (18.15 km2)|
|• Water||0.008 sq mi (0.02 km2)|
|Elevation||1,765 ft (538 m)|
|• Density||93/sq mi (35.8/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||2630763|
Dante (pronounced "Daint", rhyming with "paint") was originally called "Turkeyfoot" due to the confluence of hollows. It was originally settled in the late 1700s and early 1800s by western frontiersmen. Explosive growth occurred in the early 1900s with the discovery and exploitation of numerous bituminous coal seams. Southern industrialist George L. Carter made it the northern terminus of the Clinchfield Railroad and the headquarters of the Clinchfield Coal Company, which began to mine the nearby hollows (mainly Bear Wallow and Straight Hollow) during the early part of the 20th century. As a result, immigrants from Germany, Hungary, Greece, Poland and other central European countries flocked to the area. In 1912 Sandy Ridge, which lies immediately to the north of Dante, was punctured by the Sandy Ridge Tunnel and allowed the Clinchfield Railroad to extend all the way to Elkhorn City, Kentucky. The coal seams surrounding the town were largely exhausted by the mid 1960s and were closed in favor of new mines such as Moss #3 (A,B,C and D mines) in Duty, Virginia. Today, Dante was mostly a decaying coal town until 2016, when a renewed interest from its residents prompted community organizations to begin discussions on a path to revitalization. CSX Transportation still operates the Dante Yard, and the Clinchfield Coal Company offices are now apartments.
In early 2016 the Dante Community Association was formed with citizens of Dante and representatives from Russell County. The goal of the organization is to promote the revitalization of Dante and the surrounding area by investing in infrastructure, economic development, and the community at large, they are currently in the process of applying for a planning grant.
Dante is located in northwestern Russell County. The Dante CDP extends west into Dickenson County to include the settlement of West Dante. The communities are located in the valley of Lick Creek, which flows south to the Clinch River at St. Paul, and is thus part of the Tennessee River watershed. Sandy Ridge, overlooking Dante to the north, forms the Tennessee Valley divide, with waters on the opposite side flowing north via the McClure River to the Russell Fork/Levisa Fork/Big Sandy River system, reaching the Ohio River near Huntington, West Virginia.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Dante has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
- Virginia Trend Report 2: State and Complete Places (Sub-state 2010 Census Data). Missouri Census Data Center. Accessed 2011-06-08.
- "Dante Community Association". Dante Community Association. Retrieved 2016-11-22.
- Climate Summary for Dante, Virginia