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THORPE, WV (GARY NO. 4)

Thorpe was the No. 4 mine and coke works for United States Coal and Coke Co. (the coal mining arm of U.S. Steel). It is the end of the U.S. Steel coal towns as one heads up the Tug Fork. The No. 4 mine produced coal from 1904 until 1940, except for a few years in the bottom of the Depression. Apparently it was reopened for a few years in the 1980s, too.


Duplex company houses that still exist at Thorpe. (Dec. 2006 image by author)


The Thorpe post office remains active in this structure probably built by U.S. Coal and Coke Co. (Dec. 2006 image by author)


Ruins of the beehive coke ovens. It seems that the front facades never last on most coke oven remains. (Dec. 2006 image by author)


Retaining wall and rail siding at the remains of the coke ovens. Coke drawers would stand on top of the wall. (Dec. 2006 image by author) and unload the ovens with long handled shovels, and then dump the shovel full of "quenched" coke into gondola cars. At some later coke works this operation was automated to a degree. (Dec. 2006 image by author)


(Dec. 2006 image by author)


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