Willard, W.Va. coal camp. (1993 SHPO image by Kim Valente)

Remains of a coal tipple north of Clarksburg, WV. (Nov. 2012 image by author)

Steam locomotive passing through the coal camp of Osage, WV.(1938 Photo by Marion Post Wolcott, Library of Congress)

Coal camp houses, possibly built by the Osage Coal Co. in 1918, at Osage, WV. These houses may have later housed the miners of the Christopher Coal Co. No. 3 Mine that operated at Osage from 1949 until 1975. (Mar. 2002 image by author)

Last days of the coal mine at Montana Mines, W.Va. (1980 WV SHPO image)

Remains of a rail siding and (red arrow) stone retaining wall from the Everson Mine of the Harry B. Coal Company. This company operated coal mines in Marion County, W.Va from 1908 until 1933. (Nov. 2004 image by author)

I was surprised to stumble upon these beehive coke ovens along the Monongahela River, near the Opekiska Lock. They are on the opposite side of the river from Everettville, and there are at least 30 of them. Through my research I later learned that they are the Beechwood coke works. They were part of a small coal camp - Beechwood, WV - which was owned by Consolidation Coal Co., and has now returned to nature. Well, except for these coke ovens. A small, lonely cemetery a little down the river may have been part of Beechwood, too. (June 2004 image by author)

Preparation plant and skip hoist at Patriot Coal's (previously Eastern Associated Coal Company) Federal No. 2 coal mine in Monongalia County. (2004 image by others)

Hunting Hills could sort of be considered the last coal camp. Eastern Associated Coal Co. built the housing development in 1968 for employees of their Federal No. 2 mine. This was a really late date for a coal company to be building houses. However, the company sold all of the homes and lots to residents, so it wasn't really a true coal camp. (Google Street View image)

Also at this time Eastern considered building a town for their employees at the base of Bolt Mountain in Raleigh County, but it obviously never got past the "brain storming" phase.

Parker Run drift mouth mine and coal camp along the Monongahela River in Marion County. In 1910 Parker Run Coal Co. had 60 men mining the Sewickley coal seam here. Evidently, Parker Run was later operated by the Fairmont & cleveland Coal Co. Parker Run was a small coal town in this photo, but more company housing was added later. (Circa 1913 WV Geological Survey image via Google Books)

There are a few remaining company houses at Jere, WV. They may have been constructed by the Soper-Mitchell Coal Co., which closed the Jere mine down in the 1920s. It was reopened by the Scott Run Fuel Corp. in 1929, closed in 1930, and opened again by the Sunrise Coal Co. in 1932. In 1936 it was idled permanently. (Nov. 2004 image by author)

Another view of the few remaining company houses at Jere, WV. (Nov. 2004 image by author)

This huge railroad trestle on the Barbour-Taylor County border was constructed by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. (Apr. 2002 image by author)

Poor quality multi-family coal company housing at Cassville, WV. These are the worst coal camp "homes" that I have ever seen. (1935 image by Ben Shahn, Library of Congress)

Abandoned coal tipple along Elk Creek in Barbour County was once owned by Compass Coal Company. Their mines in this area were very productive in the 1950s. This tipple has been demolished since this picture was taken. (Feb. 2002 image by author)

This was another Compass Coal Co. tipple. Actually this one looks like a full blown prep plant. I don't think this is the same structure as the picture above. (1950s image from a Keystone Coal Manual)

Pennsylvania-style duplex coal company houses remaining at Baxter, W.Va. The may have houses miners of Consolidation Coal Company's Jordan No. 97 Mine. (Google Street View image)

Old fashioned wooden railroad trestle built by the B&O in southern Harrison County. (2004 image by author)

Rosemont coal camp in Taylor County. (Dec. 2007 image by author)

Old fan house at Edna, W.Va. This mining town on the bank of the Monongahela River was once home to the Edna Gas Coal Co., although this fan may actually be from the adjacent Booth Mine of Christopher Coal Co. At any rate, the town and mine structures at Edna have all been eradicated now. (March 1997 WV SHPO image by Laura Lamarre)

Coal camp and remaining mine building on the edge of Masontown, WV. (Nov. 2004 image by author)

Manway down into the Brock Mine near Cassville, W.Va. (WV SHPO image)

Old photo of Consolidation Coal Company's Loveridge coal preparation plant taken when it was new. This was really a modern, state of the art prep plant at the time. As of 2012 this mine, which has been producing for over 50 years, is still an active operation of renamed Consol Energy. (Image courtesy of others)

Remaining coal company houses at Meadowbrook, WV. This coal mining town in Harrison County was opened by Meadowbrook Coal & Coke Co. in 1900, but was absorbed into the Fairmont Coal Co., which was formed by consolidating over 30 coal mines, in 1903. In 1918 the Meadowbrook coal mine became a captive mine owned by the Grasselli Chemical Company to provide fuel for their neaby Zinc smelting plant. Grasselli closed the mine in 1927, perhaps because the reserves were exhausted, because, although the Appalachian coal market was in bad shape from overproduction and labor strife in 1927, this coal mine would have had a captive market (zinc smelter). I'm not sure that the mine was ever reopened. (May 2013 image by author)

Ruins along West Fork River of the Highland Mine, which was opened in 1899 by Highland Coal & Coke Co. (2013 WV AML Program image)

Remains of an underground coal car at the Highland Mine site. After 1901 the mine became the property of Fairmont Coal Co., and later Consolidation Coal Co. (2013 WV AML Program image)

Remaining coal company houses at Francis in Harrison County. (2016 image by Mark Phillips)

So much has been written about the mining of Appalachian coal, but the actual marketing of the coal to the consumers is rarely discussed. Here is an old, old photo of one of Consolidation Coal's markets selling "Fairmont Coal" and loading coal into horse drawn carts to be distributed to businesses or homes. (Image courtesy of Google Books)

An original coal camp house, probably built by the Righter Coal and Coke Company, at Rider, wV in southern Harrison County. (Oct. 2014 image by author)

This was probably the company store at Rider. (Oct. 2014 image by author)

Coal tipple ruins near Brownton, W.Va. (Circa 1996 WV SHPO image)

This was a portal from a 2 mile long underground conveyor that brought coal from a mine in Southern Monongalia County to the Monongahela River. At this point it was loaded onto barges and shipped to the coke ovens of National Steel (later Weirton Steel) on Brown's Island at Weirton, W.Va. (Feb. 2002 SHPO image by Jeff Davis)

Looking into the Weirton Mine coal conveyor tunnel. (Feb. 2002 SHPO image by Jeff Davis)

Jim W. writes of the time he spent in Monongalia County, "I was born in Fayete County, PA. My father, grandfather and a number of uncles worked in the mines during 1905 - 1940 in Fayette, Greene, and Washington Counties in Pennsylvania. Later my family moved to Monongalia County in West Virginia and I grew up in a coal mining town. In fact, I worked as a slate picker at the mine during my school vacation between my Junior and Senior years in high school. Where I worked we did not have a picking table. We stood on a narrow platform right beside the conveyor on which the coal was carried into the railroad hopper cars. We threw the slate across the conveyor to another platform that was about 8 to 10 feet wide. When the slate accumulated, and there was no more room on this platform, it was then shoveled down to the ground about 12 feet below. There a front end loader picked it up and put it in a slate bucket that carried it up the hillside and emptied between two hills. Surprisingly, all this accumulated slate in a huge slate pile has been hauled away to some unknown place and the area it formerly occupied was all landscaped, including planting of new trees. I'm only guessing that the federal or state government paid for all of this. The mine I worked at was owned by Eastern Gas & Fuel Associates and was located in Everettville, WV. This small town is located about 10 miles south of Morgantown, WV and about a mile west of the Monongahela River, along Indian Creek. Its located on state route 45 that runs from Morgantown to an intersection with U. S. Route 19 at Arnettsville. The town, minus the stores and schools, still stands and most of the houses are now privately owned. In fact, some of the owners of these houses have torn them down and erected brand new ones."

Federal No. 3 mine at Everttsville, WV gets a new mine motor. (Image courtesy Coal and Coke Heritage Center, Penn State Fayette)

In another email about Everettsville, Jim writes, "My grandfather was the town cop in Everttsville when the mine exploded. I took my dad back there the year before he died just to look around. He pointed out some of the old places but most of them were gone, like the school and his old house. He was disappointed that so much of the town was gone.

He had fond memories on Everttsville. After the mine blew he and my grandfather had to ride on horse back to the portal where there was a pipe that grandfather had to put a thermometer in and record the temperature in the mine to help determine if the fire was dying out. When we were there we found out that the mine is still on fire today.

My grandfather also worked for Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency in the very early 1900s, and was shot twice. I know that he still had one of those bullets in him when he died in 1949. Near as I can figure he quit them around 1911 after the last gun shot. That's when he met my grandma. As the books tell and Grandma said the B-F agents were a bunch of thugs.

I'll share one more story with you. Dad said that they had a doctor that traveled from town to town. He usually stayed with my dad's family and on one trip he had a crystal radio with him. He had to put an antenna up to pick up the only station that they could get which was KDKA in Pittsburgh, the first radio station in the country. There was a pole in town that Dad said was about two inches in diameter and probably 20 feet or so high. Dad was the only kid small enough but also strong enough to shinny up the pole and set the antenna without the pole bending over. The doctor gave my dad 50 cents, I think, to set the antenna. 50 cents was a lot of money for a kid in Everttsville in those days. The radio only had a set of headphones, no speaker. So that night they put the headphones in a big soup bowl and everyone set around the table with their ears cupped toward the soup bowl listening to KDKA."