Probably 1970s image by John Cavalier

Abandoned coke ovens near Cannelton.

Sep. 2004 image by author

Underground shuttle cars waiting to be repaired in Cannelton hollow.

Sep. 2004 image by author

These company houses still exist in Cannelton. Cannel coal, for which the area was named, was mined here before the Civil War. That kind of coal was formed from spores, and an oil can be produced from it. As a matter of fact, coal oil was manufactured by Untion Coal and Oil Co. at Cannelton for a few years. The cannel coal market was booming in the 1850s until oil was discovered in Titusville, PA in 1859. That kind of killed the cannel coal oil market. Yet coal mining in Cannelton prospered through the late 19th Century into the 21st Century.

Image courtesy of Walter Caldwell

The company store that used to be located at Cannelton. Cannelton Coal and Coke Co. began operatinos in 1857. This is probably the oldest commercial coal operation in Southern West Virginia. Until the 1860s some slave labor was employed.

Photo courtesy Walter Caldwell

A vintage view of the coal camp of Carbondale, WV with the tipple in the background

Sep. 2004 image by author

Pictured is one of the few remaining company houses at Carbondale. Kanawha & Hocking Coal and Coke Co. was the operator at Carbondale (and nearby Longacre). Their operations began in 1902.

Image courtesy William West

In later years coal was extracted from the hilltops above Cannelton by the mountaintop removal method. A portion of the dragline can be seen in the background.

Sep. 2004 image by author

After the coal camp era was over at Cannelton, the Lady Dunn prep plant was located near the mouth of Cannelton hollow along US Route 60. It was probably built by Cannelton Coal Co., which also owned mines in Boone and McDowell Counties. Later Cannelton Coal Co. was absorbed by Cyprus-Amax Coal Co., a concern that got out of the coal business and sold their properties to Horizon Natural Resources. They in turn sold the operation to Massey Energy (now Alpha), the current owner.

Sep. 2004 image by author

After Massey purchased the mining complex near Cannelton and renamed it the Mammoth operation they threw out the UMWA, leaving this sign in Cannelton Hollow one of the few remnants of union coal mining in the area.

Dec. 1996 State Historic Preservation Office image

Beehive coke oven remains at Marting, which was a captive mine for the Columbus Steel & Iron Co. Their coal and coke operation here lasted from 1903 until 1917.

1914 The Black Diamond image via Google Books

The Marting coke ovens when they were in operation. In the background can be seen some of the coal company housing. Looks like they used Pennsylvania- style duplex housing.


Cavalier, John. Smithers West Virginia. McClain Printing Co., 1978.