Jenkinjones, at the headwaters of Tug Fork River, gets its colorful name from pioneer coal baron Jenkin Jones. His son, James Ellwood Jones, was General Manager of Pocahontas Consolidated Collieries Company, and they built Jenkinjones in 1911-12 to support their No. 6, 7 and 8 mines. In 1917 PCCC morphed into Pocahontas Fuel Co. No. 8 mine production ended in 1953. In the mid-20th Century Consolidation Coal Co. became the owner of Pocahontas Fuel's properties. They continued to mine coal in No. 6 and 7 mines in the Pocahontas 3 seam, and, in 1978 opened a new Jenkinjones operation: No. 4 mine in the Pocahontas 4 seam. After 68 years of production No. 6 mine closed in 1980. In 1983 No. 7 shut down. Finally, the closure of Mine No. 4 in 1989 spelled the end of coal mining at Jenkinjones.

Jenkinjones was a "model" coal camp, one that the coal company could show off and be proud of, although the inhabitants still had to use outhouses and carry water from hydrants. The post office opened in 1912. Several of the company-built homes were of masonry construction, and some areas were illuminated with street lights. Two company stores served the community, as did a movie theater. A few churches and schools for white and black children rounded out the community.

2020 image by David Dunlap

Ruins of the company store and mine office. Click here for high resolution image.

Circa 1991 WV SHPO image

The Jenkinjones coal preparation plant at the end of its useful life.

Apr. 2006 image by author

Buildings constructed by the Pocahontas Fuel Company.

2002 image courtesy of Jeff

This photo shows the sad condition of the Pocahontas Fuel Company store in Jenkinjones, WV.

Apr. 2006 image by author

I think this was the office for the mine.

Dec. 2015 image by author

This wooden railroad trestle is still in existence. The trestle originally supported the railroad going up to the Jenkinjones tipple, which used to be located at the back of the hollow.

Dec. 2015 image by author

This was originally the United Mine Workers union hall. Like Jenkinjones, the UMWA has seen better days.

Dec. 2015 image by author

Great architectural styling on the Jenkinjones Methodist Church.

Apr. 2006 image by author

These large cinderblock homes are unique among coal camp houses in McDowell County. This sturdy construction, plus the sidewalks, are evident that this wa once one of the so called "model" company towns.

Apr. 2006 image by author

Cinderblock houses can be found in other parts of the Jenkinjones coal camp. This house still sports its original metal roof. Company-built houses on each side of it have been demolished.

Apr. 2006 image by author

Pocahontas Fuel Co. also provided wood framed houses to its employees at Jenkinjones. These houses still have "coal houses" in front of them. When the company delivered coal to the homes it would be deposited in these "coal houses". This picture shows, again, how nearby company homes have been razed. Many of the remaining houses are unoccupied.

Apr. 2006 image by author

Once there were continuous rows of houses along the road, but now there are gaps from the demolition of some homes.

Dec. 2015 image by author

There are also these smaller company houses at Jenkinjones. As you can see, many are gone, leaving gaps in what was once a continuous row of coal camp houses.

Dec. 2015 image by author

Christmas in Jenkinjones.

Dec. 2015 image by author

In a 1998 article in the Bluefield Daily Telegraph Billie Pennington wrote about living at Jenkinjones in the 1930s: "Living there was good. It was well kept, clean and peaceful. To me, this town was one of the nicest that Pocahontas Fuel owned. I remember our sleigh-riding parties out of No. 8 Harlow. We always had a nice bonfire to warm us. I learned to roller skate on the sidewalks there. We had a theatre that always had good movies for us. There were two nice company stores. At one time, we even had a tennis court. There was a closeness among the residents that has long passed in a lot of towns."


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

WV state mining records



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