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STOTESBURY

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This mining camp is located on Winding Gulf Creek above Tams. It was originally operated by the E.E. White Coal Co. and named for E.T. Stotesbury, who was president of Beaver Coal Co. at the time. Mining was in the Beckley seam. The Koppers Coal Co. took it over in the late 1930s. The Beckley seam was mined out by the 1940s and they switched to the Pocahontas No. 4 seam, operating this mine until 1958. A second era for Storesbury began in the mid 1960s when Eastern Associated Coal rebuilt the mine (but didn't reopen the company store, which closed in the 1950s). This operation, called the Keystone No. 4 mine, mined the Pocahontas No. 3 and No. 4 seams and lasted into the 1980s, being one of the first longwall mines in the area. A third era at Stotesbury began with the old mine being reopened by White Mountain LLC in 2001. They installed a new fan and bathhouse but the mine shut down in 2002, ending 90 years of coal mining in Stotesbury, WV.


From a private post card collection

The supply house and the original Stotesbury tipple, with the head house up on the hill in the background.


1924 photo courtesy of the late Vittorio Martina

Italian immigrants just off the boat in Stotesbury.


Courtesy of "Tribute to the Coal Miner," used with permission

Here is the tipple from the Stotesbury mine with the drift mine into the Beckley seam of coal. All of the coal extraction facilities built over the years have been constructed on this same plot of land.


October 1964 WVSHPO image

Bosses Row in Stotesbury.


Courtesy of "Tribute to the Coal Miner," used with permission

A photograph of Eastern Associated's preparation plant at Stotesbury, built in 1967, shown here probably during the energy boom of the late 1970s. Behind the plant can be seen a really huge silo and the refuse conveyor going up the hill.


November 2002 photo by author

This row of company built houses is still extant.


November 2002 photo by author

Another section of the Stotesbury mining camp.


November 2002 photo by author

Stotesbury is slowly returning to nature.


November 1997 photo by author

Old company-built houses at the edge of the camp coming apart.


January 2008 photo by author

More Stotesbury abandonment. Most of the homes in the lower end of the coal camp are abandoned.


December 2008 photo by author

Stotesbury coal camp becoming engulfed in the woods.


April 2007 photo by author

The railroad and the homes were constructed almost a century ago.


January 2008 photo by author

The largest remaining home in Stotesbury.


November 1997 photo by author

St. John's Baptist Church was for the African-American community in Stotesbury. There is even a modest cemetery behind the church.


January 2008 photo by author

After years of neglect the church fell into severe disrepair and collapsed a few years after this picture was taken.


Janurary 2008 photo by author

The cornerstone on the church had become mostly illegible.


December 2000 photo by author

The church for (historically) white people in Stotesbury at 6:30 in the morning.


2020 photo by David Dunlap

Two decades after my picture the church still exists. Click here for high resolution image.


May 2000 photo by author

Old cut stone piers going up the mountain for a monitor-car incline or conveyor.


May 2000 photo by author

I found an old portal up on the hill, before the area was reclaimed.


January 2004 photo by author

Another picture of the portal taken after the area was reclaimed.


January 2004 photo by author

Part of the half-burnt slate dump at Stotesbury may be refuse from mining coal nearly a century ago.


April 2001 photo by author

This photograph taken in April 2001 shows White Mountain Mining's Stotesbury operation just before it opened. Three new orange scoops, as well as another piece of underground equipment painted white, are visable. This was just after the California brownouts of 2000-2001 had driven the price of coal up and everyone in coal country was optimistic. I even heard reports of steam coal selling for as much as 55 dollars a ton on the spot market.


November 2002 photo by author

A year and a half later, when this picture was taken, the mine had shut down and the company was bankrupt. The ruins of the originial mine can be seen at the top of the reclaimed area.


January 2004 photo by author

Still another year later the splashing sounds of the flooded mine could be heard through this fan that White Mountain Mining installed.


April 2007 photo by author

Locked steel gates cover the manway slope portal at the Stotesbury mine that had been closed for about 5 years when this photo was taken, hence the weeds growing in the mantrip track.


April 2007 photo by author

The hoist for the mantrip.


April 2007 photo by author

Although the operation had only been closed for about 5 years the local residents have begun piecemeal destruction of the bathhouse.


April 2007 photo by author

More vandalism inside the bathhouse.



After the original Stotesbury mine closed in 1958, the town became a ghost town. Life Magazine photographer Paul Schutzer recorded these images of the mostly abandonded Stotesbury in the winter of 1958-59. Apparently there were a few curious teenagers hanging around that day.










In the 1960s Eastern Gas and Fuel either rented or donated space in a building in Stotesbury for "The Nation's First Coal Town Museum." These October 1964 photos preserved by WVSHPO document that museum. The SHPO report states, "Since that time the museum contents have been moved to Beckley." So maybe some of the items can still be viewed at the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine museum.










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