Welch is a location in Fallout 76.
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. Established as the seat of McDowell County in 1892, even before its incorporation, Welch was notable for its rather violent year, 1921, including the murder of a deputy by the soon-to-be-impeached mayor and the murder of a police chief, Sid Hatfield, by private detectives from the Baldwin–Felts Detective Agency. 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.
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, 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. 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".
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", 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, 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, which spread like wildfire throughout the region and brought the National Guard down to quell the unrest.
Points of interest
- The town of Welch sits 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's also a U-Mine It! vending machine by gas pumps on north side of town.
- Take note of a deceased member of the Order of Mysteries inside the ruined corner house south of the Welch Station.
- The two intact houses to the southeast contain a tinker's workbench and another weapons workbench, together with the fifth Overseer holotape to Evan on the counter.
- Holotapes and Notes
- Surveillance System Tape - 8/08/77: On floor of middle destroyed house on eastern side of town.
- Overseer's Journal, Entry 5: Inside a house on the east side of town.
- Eviction Notice Recording: The Kaminskis: Inside a skeleton's coffin, protruding out from a rock face on the northwest side of town, just behind the wrecked houses.
- Plans and Recipes
- Random crafting plan inside Duchess' safe, on desk inside second floor of house with blue mailbox,
- Random recipe on kitchen counter of house with blue mailbox; inside Duchess' safe, on counter of house due south of blue mailbox house.
- Dynamic spawns
- Consumables: Blackwater Brew, New River Red Ale, Oak Holler Lager, Old Possum, Pickaxe Pilsner
- Junk: Loose screws
Behind the scenes
The town of Welch has a real-world counterpart in McDowell County, West Virginia. 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.
Welch appears in Fallout 76.