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ELKHORN, WV

A coal camp along Elkhorn Creek operated by Crozer Coal and Coke Company. The post office opened in 1888. However, state mining records don't show Crozer coal production starting until 1897. In 1926 Crozer upgraded the colliery with a 3000 ton per day tipple. Crozer Coal and Coke's last coal production in McDowell County came in 1954. But in 2000, the only ruins of the mine I found were some concrete foundations along the railroad. However, if one were to look up on the hills around the town he or she may find some remnants of the Elkhorn mine.


Oct. 2015 image by Carol Highsmith

Most of these coal company houses look abandoned. The house on the left is getting new siding in this photo, but it burned in 2019. Click here for high resolution image.


Mar. 2022 image by author

These coal camp houses a few years later were even more abandoned. The red brick "coal house" is from a long-removed coal company house. These structures were where the company wagon / truck would deposit the coal at regular intervals for the family's use. Click here for high resolution image.


Mar. 2022 image by author

John J. Lincoln, who was chief engineer and superintendent for the Crozer Land Association, had this home constructed for himself and his family in 1899. He was later Vice President and General Manager of the coal company. He allowed orchestra concerts on the lawn of this house to uplift the Elkhorn community. The small structure on the left was a school for his children. After Lincoln's death, Pocahontas Fuel Co. used his former home for board meetings and other functions.


Mar. 2005 image by author

Looking down into the Elkhorn coal camp. Some of the Elkhorn homes did have running and water and indoor toilets. Others made do with outhouses and water hydrants shared between three or four houses.


Nov. 2000 image by author

This photograph shows the former Norfolk & Western railroad passing through Elkhorn.


Mar. 2004 image by author

Coal miners' homes in Elkhorn.


Mar. 2004 image by author

Larger homes that were probably built for company officials.


Mar. 2004 image by author

The bosses row - the largest homes in Elkhorn that the coal company probably built for the superintendent and other company officials.


Mar. 2022 image by author

Management level houses along the tracks.


Mar. 2022 image by author

A closer look at this once nice management level house reveals that it is not long for this world. Yet someone is still mowing the grass. Note the double gabled roof.


Mar. 2022 image by author

Elkhorn, W.Va. streetscape. The former St. Mary's Greek Catholic Church is in the background at the top of the hill.


Mar. 2005 image by author

St. Mary's Greek Catholic church was built in 1912 for all of the eastern European immigrants in Elkhorn at that time. They must not still be there, because St. Mary's congregation has moved to a new church in Bluefield.


Mar. 2004 image by author

This wooden water tank up on the hill above Elkhorn held the water that the people of the town used in their homes.


Mar. 2022 image by author

Coal companies would locate a row of garages in their coal camps for residents who owned automobiles.


Mar. 2005 image by author

Elkhorn, W.Va. - an Appalachian coal camp.


Mar. 2022 image by author

A modern coal loading facility that is just upstream of Elkhorn. It opened around 2019. A Norfolk-Southern coal trail hauls loaded gondola cars in the background.


Sources:

Schust, Alex P. Billion Dollar Coalfield. Two Mule Publishing, 2010.

Sone, April, WV SHPO. National Register of Historic Places Registration Form, Lincoln, John J. House. 1992

WV state mining records



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