|“||Life isn’t easy for the miners and their families in Annesburg, which has been providing coal up and down the Lannahechee River for almost a century. Working conditions are terrible for little pay, and many men have lost their lives down the pit.||„|
Annesburg is a mining town in Roanoke Ridge, New Hanover, which has been mining coal for nearly a century. It is the most modernized and largest settlement in the state of New Hanover, being larger in size than Valentine and the nearby Van Horn Trading Post. The town is constantly covered in a thick, dark blanket of fog from the coal, and large chimneys pump black smoke into the air. The surrounding water beside Annesburg has an oily sheen from the large amounts of pollution, with many oil barrels and large quantities of garbage seen littered around the river bank.
Freight trains regularly pass through Annesburg, delivering and collecting goods. Most of the settlement's population either work in the mine or live with somebody who does. The workers of the mine live in rows of identical, grey wooden huts, running along the side of the hill. Stairways and paths connect this housing area to the mine and the main street running through the town at the base of the hill.
At the top of the hill is the mine itself. The mine features a railway system for mine-carts, which deliver coal around the settlement. The mine and its surroundings are protected by guards, who become hostile if the player enters restricted territory. The area is loud, busy and dirty, and seems to be very dangerous. Health hazards are abundant around the Annesburg mine, which may be why so many workers have lost their lives here. Scattered around the top of the hill are wooden planks and tree logs, which, seeing as many tree stumps surround Annesburg, have been gathered from the nearby forests of Roanoke Ridge.
Entering the town from the south, a main street stretches from the south of the town to the north. On both sides of this are two sets of train tracks: one for the freight train and one for the passenger train.
The first building to find is the train station. Right outside of this is the stagecoach, which allows the player to fast travel to any discovered settlement in the game. Inside is a telegraph office, where the player can pay off their bounties, purchase train tickets and send and collect mail. The tracks for the passenger train run beside the train station on the eastern side. In the epilogue, Rains Fall can be met sitting on a bench while waiting for the train.
Beside the train station is a large wooden platform, on which many wooden crates, palettes and wooden planks can be found stacked together, ready to be loaded onto the train.
Next to the platform is Annesburg's gunsmith. Inside, not only can the player purchase and customize weapons, but they can also rent a room for the night and take a bath. Behind the gun store is a small creek which runs behind many buildings of Annesburg. Similar to the nearby river, the water has an oily shine due to the large quantities of pollution.
Beside the gunsmith is a small, grey building. Inside are the rooms the player can rent from the gun store, including the bathtub. Next to this is a large, tudor-style structure. This building is inaccessible, but signs on the exterior suggest this building is a pub/brewery. Signs on the exterior walls advertise hot meals, good beer and friendly service. Outside of this pub is a newspaper seller.
Next to this building is the Jameson Mine and Coal Company, a very large, red structure on stilts which resembles a barn due to its color, and spans from the bottom of the hill all the way to the top. Underneath this building are two underpasses, one for the freight train, and one for pedestrians/horses. Although this building can be entered, it is guarded by many armed officers, who become hostile if the player so much as comes near them.
Across the street from these buildings is a large, rocky hill. At the base lie the railway tracks for the freight train, which passes through the town regularly. Situated on the hill are many grey wooden huts, which house the miners and their families. These are connected by stairways and paths which wind around the hill and the buildings upon it. Around these houses, many women can be found doing housework, such as cleaning the walls and floors. Clothes lines hang between huts, holding recently cleaned clothing.
At the top of the hill is the mine. This area is covered in a thick mist of dust and soot. Small monorails connect different openings into the mine, appearing to be mine-cart tracks. Mounds of dirt, rock, coal and gravel are scattered around the mine. Littered about the place are piles of wooden planks and logs from trees. Tall chimneys puff thick, black smoke into the atmosphere, causing the area to become dark and foggy.
The mine itself is dark, dirty and treacherous. Hundreds of men are said to have died within this dangerous cave. Many men can be heard working, striking the cave walls hard with pickaxes. The mine is also guarded by patrols of armed officers, who dislike the player entering the cave.
The town can be explored from Chapter 2, although it doesn’t become part of the game's narrative until much later on. After a Pinkerton assault on the Van der Linde gang's temporary camp of Lakay, Dutch asks Arthur and Charles to look for a new place for a camp. The two wipe out a group of Murfrees in the caves near Beaver Hollow; subsequently, Charles returns to the gang to let them know where their next camp is, and Arthur takes a girl named Meredith, who was on a stagecoach from the town which went missing, back to her mother in Annesburg, who offers Arthur money as a reward.
In the sixth chapter, Arthur meets Edith Downes in the town, the widow of Thomas Downes, who Arthur previously assaulted for debt money and contracted Tuberculosis from. Arthur tries to redeem himself by helping Edith and her son, Archie, to earn a good living honestly. He saves Edith from one of her clients, who was attempting to kidnap her, and helps Archie to leave his job as a miner, working in terrible conditions while being relentlessly bullied by his colleagues. After continually refusing, Edith eventually accepts money from Arthur for her to use in starting a new life for herself.
Leopold Strauss, the gang's money lender, instructs Arthur to retrieve the debt money of a miner living in Annesburg named Arthur Londonderry. Upon entering the mine, Arthur is told by the foreman that Londonderry had died after working to pay off his debts, suggesting that he should visit his wife. Arthur does so, and after cancelling the debt and giving her money if the player wishes, he rides back to camp and expels Strauss from the gang in disgust for his loan sharking.
Arthur, Micah and Dutch head to Annesburg to confront Leviticus Cornwall, Dutch shoots Cornwall, killing him and triggering a shootout in the town against Cornwall's men. However, while he was asked to follow one of the tycoon's aides, Micah managed to find out about a contract with the United States Army detailing the transportation of dynamite between Annesburg and Saint Denis, prompting Dutch and Micah to begin plans for a train robbery.
Later on, after Arthur collapses into unconsciousness from a coughing fit following a battle at the oil fields, he is found by a German family who he once helped and brought to Annesburg. Arthur refuses a drink that is offered to him and insists he must go, before leaving the house.
- North of the coal mining building in the north of Annesburg is a tree stump. Embedded in it is the Rusted Double Bit Hatchet.
- The Packet Ship Cigarette Card can be found on a crate on the pier.
- In the office to the west of the railroad tracks is the Cigarette Card for Preston T. Stephenson.
- On the floor in the top of the tower is the Cigarette Card for Pigeon Shooting. On the railing is Valerian Root.
- On the minecart tracks to the west is a barrel, on top of which is the Cigarette Card for Annesburg.
- Southwest of here in the mine is the Cigarette Card for Isabelle Standish. It is on the table in the chamber to the left of the entrance.
- In the southwestern end of the mine is a shaft. At the top of the first ladder on top of a crate is the Cigarette Card for the Longleaf Pine.
- West and slightly south of there is a dreamcatcher.
- In back of the gunsmith on a table is the Cigarette Card for Revolver - 1836 - Daniel Buck. Note this can only be acquired after accepting the "Smoking and Other Hobbies" mission.
- Rains Fall can be found near the Post Office once the player reaches the epilogue.
- Annesburg was likely one of the first permanent settlements in New Hanover.
- Due to almost a century of mining in the town, the waters of the Lannahechee River around the town has an oily sheen and appears to be heavily polluted.
- In addition to the river being polluted all fish near the town are mutated.
- The original settlers of Annesburg were of German descent, and many buildings in the town are designed in a German colonial style. Several people in the town even speak with German accents. Also, the name of the state is the same as the German city, Hanover.
- Annesburg is a coal town, which at the time was a type of company town. Company towns were a popular phenomenon of 1890s American life, not only in the East but also in the Midwest and Upper South. At locations such as railroad construction sites, lumber camps, or coal mines, work often existed far from established towns. As a pragmatic solution, employers sometimes developed a company town, where an individual company owned all the buildings and businesses.
- Given its game location on the far eastern edge of the Heartlands and along the Lannahechee River, Annesburg is based on any number of coal towns that, although now mostly defunct or gone entirely, once existed near the Mississippi River. They dotted the landscape from the Arkansas River Valley to the traditional mining country of southern Illinois. Many such towns were created during the 1890s and flourished for years before closing down at various points in the twentieth century.
- Another possible real-life influence is Buxton Townsite. Founded in southeastern Iowa in 1895, by 1907 it grew to be the largest coal town west of the Mississippi River with a population of nearly 5,000. The town was completely abandoned by 1927.
- There is notably - and accurately - no saloon in Annesburg. Leaders of company towns often prohibited businesses or services (such as drinking establishments or brothels) that were deemed to have a negative influence on workers and their productivity.