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CATHERINE TIPPLE - NICHOLAS COUNTY, WV

Aside from the tipple at Nuttallburg that the National Park Service has restored, this is the last intact wood framed coal tipple in Southern WV. A contract was already awarded to demolish it when the National Coal Heritage Authority and the WV Dept. of History and Culture intervened. Alliance Consulting, Inc. of Beaver, WV was hired to perform a structural evaluation to determine the feasibility of relocating and preserving it. The results of the study were that the Catherine Tipple could be relocated, but at a very high cost. This report seemingly could have doomed the tipple, but rumor has it that it is still intact and at its original location, in limbo between the desire to preserve it and state regulations requiring its reclamation.


Composite photo (replete with Scotch tape) of the tipple before the area around it was reclaimed. (Photo courtesy of WVDEP and WV Dept. of History and Culture)


A better view of the raw coal conveyor that used to feed the tipple, again before the area was reclaimed and the conveyor removed. The conveyor bents look almost like glorified twigs. (Photo courtesy of WVDEP and WV Dept. of History and Culture)


The back side of the tipple now shows where the raw coal conveyor was heartlessly ripped away.


An elevation view of the tipple shows how the corrugated sheeting was nailed on with a horizontal orientation.


The other side of the Catherine Tipple.


Detail of a collapsing bin with a wooden top and a plate steel bottom. My guess is that the bottom of a wooden bin wore out and a mild steel bottom was fitted in.


Detail of the cast iron washers that can be found throughout the tipple.


Close-up view of a typical wooden column splice on the tipple.


Gate at the bottom of a chute in one of the loading bays underneath the tipple.


Old equipment can still be found inside the tipple.


At the top of the tipple the feed conveyor dumped raw coal onto this large vibrating screen.


Drive rods and chutework underneath the screen.


Detail of connection between the drive sheave and the drive rods that move the screen. Who knows when this was last fired up?


Wooden guards around the screen drive.


The slate picker stood on this platform along the screen and picked gob out of the material stream and tossed it down the plate chute next to the platform.


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