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GLEN WHITE, WV

The Scottish / Gaelic influence on southern WV is evident in the number of community names with the prefix "Glen," such as Glen Rogers, Glen Daniels, Glen Morgan, Glen Hedrick, and Glen Jean. And then there is Glen White. The Glen White mining camp was built by the E. E. White Coal Co., which was chartered on December 26, 1907. A spur was built by the Virginian Railway from their mainline to the new town, and the first Beckley seam coal shipped July 1, 1909. The Glen White mine, one of the few shaft mines in the Winding Gulf Coalfield, was on one end of a nearly 6,000 acres lease from Beaver Coal Co., and Stotesbury was on the other end. After many productive years the Glen White mine closed in 1945.

The late Dario Pitotti, of Beckley, said that his Italian-American family lived in the "hunk" section of Glen White in the 1920s and 30s. There was also a section for white Americans and one for African-American people. Dario remembered a store on the hill between Glen White and Lester which was run by a man named Albanese and catered to the Italian-American immigrants. There were even bocce courts in the back yard of the store. Dario later went on to become chief electrician for Eastern Associated Coal at Stotesbury, which was originally the other E.E. White coal mining operation. Mr. Pitotti also told me that one day at the Glen White mine the Beckley seam pinched down to 18". Company officials knew that the coal seam was thick again on the other side of this "pinch," and they asked a young Mr. Pitotti to lay on his side and mine through the confining height until the seam thickened again. He said that he hardly had room to lift his shovel and move the coal out of the way. I have no idea why the company didn't just take some rock down, or how they managed haulage through that section after Mr. Pitotti finished his grueling task.


Image from The Black Diamond magazine via Google Books

Vintage view of Glen White, West Virginia showing company houses and the mine's rail sidings. A fairly gushing 1919 article in The Black Diamond noted that at Glen White "the management has apparently ommitted no expense to make the living conditions more like those in an ideally located mountain resort than in what one is accustomed to associate with a mining community."


May 2002 image by author

Large company houses in the middle of the coal camp.


April 2005 image by author

These smaller homes are more numerous in the Glen White coal camp, and probably represent the housing provided for the average coal miner and his family.


April 2005 image by author

Some of the miners' homes still in existence along Route 54.


April 2005 image by author

These company built houses at the back of the town still look original. When the coal company still owned the homes they were probably all painted the same color.


April 2005 image by author

Typical of a coal camp hierarchy, these larger homes sit at a higher elevation than the miner's homes "in the bottom" and probably were inhabited by mine foreman and bosses.


April 2005 image by author

The nicest house in the Glen White coal camp is the extant mansion that was built for owner E.E. White, and sits on a bluff overlooking the town.


Image from The Black Diamond via Google Books

A portrait of E.E. White - obviously an enlightened and refined gentleman.


April 2005 image by author

The White mansion, which allegedly contains a ballroom, is now on the National Register of Historic Places. At the foot of the hill in front of the house is a "Service Roll" monument.


April 2005 image by author

Detail of Service Roll, a monument which lists community residents that served in the military. These are common in coal mining towns of Western Pennsylvania, but they are not usually found in Southern WV coal camps.


April 2005 image by author

This Baptist church may date back to the coal camp era of Glen White.


Image from The Coal Industry via Google Books

The progressive E.E. White Coal Co. constructed this recreation hall containing bowling alleys, pool tables, refreshment counter, and ice cream parlor. On the upper floor could be found a reading room, class room, and auditorium.


Image from The Coal Industry via Google Books

Inside the recreation hall's auditorium.


April 2005 image by author

The former offices of the coal company. The company store used to sit beside this structure.


April 2005 mage by author

The power house has been recycled into a church. With so much cut stone work falling into ruin in WV it is nice to see some of it being saved and put to use.


April 2005 image by author

Most other features of the Glen White coal mine are gone, but these tipple foundations are still there.


April 2005 image by author

Next to the tipple foundations are the stone ruins of another mine building.


Image from The Black Diamond via Google Books

The coal shaft, tipple, and power house are visable in this vintage photo of the Glen White colliery. There also was a man shaft for this mine.


Image from The Coal Industry via Google Books

August 4, 1918 photo of a car of Glen White coal that was to be presented to the Red Cross.


Image from The Black Diamond via Google Books

The Glen White machine shop shown here is no longer in existence.

From the Beckley Post Herald, June 1, 1945:

Had you been at Glen White yesterday afternoon (May 31, 1945) you would have seen a strange and sad thing happen - a coal mine die. I was there, and It was a solemn occasion for these stalwart men who had been working a quarter of a century and over in the quiet little glen where, 36 years ago, the late E. E. White built a town on the Snuffer farm. Some of the men who had been there longest gathered around the mine tipple, to be on hand when the final car was hoisted from the shaft. High in the tipple C. P. Sanger, 56, dumped one car after another as they rose from the shaft. Sanger dumped the first car that rose from the Beckley seam at Glen White on June 30, 1909 — and he was still there to dump the last. At 3:45 the mine whistle blew. "It don't sound right does it?" one miner asked of another. "No, it's got a lonelier sound this time." It's a quarter to four, and they'll be bringing up the last car soon," a small boy said. Some of the older men began gathering around. They were mostly waiting, and not talking much.

Had you been at Glen White yesterday,- you would have seen more to mining than coal cars or black diamonds, or wage contracts, or dividends, You would have seen and felt that mining, like life, is a great romance - and here it| was dying. I went up to Superintendent A. E. Barrett, who came here from England, and, said, "You must hate to see it close down." "We all do," he replied, simply. "I was down in the mine today and talked with some of the men. They couldn't believe it. They knew this was the last day, but they just couldn't believe it was true." Barrett had worked at Glen White for the past 29 years; the last 24 he served as a mine foreman and later as superintendent. Big, husky J. W. Worley, electrician for the mine, came by. He grew up at near-by Lester, and started working at Glen While 25 years ago. "I grew up here with this mine," he said. "It was the first job I ever had, I hate to see her go." The men kept looking at the tipple, watching the cars as they moved to the top. "It won't be long now," one said. "It's about all up."

The mine went out like a queen —producing 1,100 tons on the final day. "But that's all she'll stand," one man said — "you've got to leave enough around the shaft to get the machinery out. It wouldn't be safe to bring any more up." A. M. McMullins and C. N. Shumate, blacksmiths, who had been at Glen White 27 and 26 years respectively, sat on a stone ledge, looking toward the shaft. "I hate to see this," Shumate said. J. E. Farley, 67, came up. "Boys this is like leaving home to me ... I lost my eye here, and I lost my wife here. There's never been another mine like this."


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