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KANAWHA COALFIELD - MISCELLANEOUS

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Sep. 2021 image by author

On Labor Day weekend of 2001, the 100th anniversary of the Blair Mountain uprising, a group of people retraced the steps of the striking miners marching to Blair Mountain. Here they are marching through the coal camp of Hernshaw, W.Va. UMWA president Cecil Roberts is up front leading the group. They are wearing red hankerchiefs, just as the miners did back on the original march. This was the origin of the term "redneck." Click here for high resolution image.


Apr. 2006 image by author

The Kanawha Coalfield has been blessed with the navigable Kanwaha River, enabling economical shipment of coal. Pictured here is the Chelyan Dock.


Apr. 2007 image by author

Abandoned railroad cabin along the former C&O mainline in the Kanawha Valley.


Sep. 1938 image by Marion Post Wolcott, Library of Congress

1938 photograph taken at Longacre, WV. In the lower right of the picture is a New York Central Railroad car next to the beehive coke ovens. Behind this is the tipple, with a conveyor crossing over Route 60 and going up to the head house. In the background are company houses. This coal mine and coke works was adjacent to the town of Smithers, WV.


Sep. 2005 image by author

The tipple from the Catherine mine near Muddelty, Nicholas County, was one of the last wooden tipples remaining in West Virginia. The raw coal feed conveyor has been removed from the tipple. For more information about this tipple see this page about the tipple.


Apr. 2006 image by author

The train yard and tipple at the end of the old Winifrede Railroad, a historic independent short line railroad used into the 21st Century by Kanawha Eagle Coal, LLC.


Sep. 2001 image by author

These coal cars sitting in Winifrede Hollow (Fields Creek) still bore the label "WNRR" - Winifred Railroad. The creek that drains the hollow is actually Fields Creek, but Winifrede was the coal camp that was located there (and namesake of an important coal seam).


Sep. 2021 image by author

The old engine house for Winifrede Railroad locomotives.


Sep. 2021 image by author

Detail on the former Winifrede Railroad engine house. At the time of the photo it had become some kind of fabrication shop.



Sep. 2004 image by author

Gauley Mountain Coal Company's town named Jodie, WV, representing the Gauley River district of the Kanawha Field.


Sep. 2004 image by author

These silos, and part of the aerial tram and barge loader, are all that remains of Semet Solvay's once large mine at Harewood, WV.


1991 image by Norse Angus, courtesy HABS/HAER

The Campbells Creek Coal Company store at Dana, WV still existed when this picture was snapped from the Turnpike bridge over the river in 1991, but has since been demolished. US Route 60 is in the background.


Apr. 2006 image by author

The coal dock pictured here (Quincy Dock), has a huge stockpile of coal to load into the waiting barges. The coal docks along this river include Shrewsbury Dock, Cheylan Dock, Quincy Dock, Winifrede Dock, Marmet Dock, and Amherst Dock, among others.


Nov. 2001 image by author

This trestle at Deepwater, Fayette County, still says "Virginian," although the coal hauling railroad was absorbed into the N&W in 1959.


Mar. 2008 image by Fred Wolfe

Boomer, WV coal camp on the bank of the Kanawha River. Not shown in the picture is St. Anthony Catholic Church. Usually where you find a parish named after St. Anthony it often means you are in a present or former Italian-American neighborhood. Boomer Coal and Coke Company recruited many Italian immigrants to work in their mines. It wasn't that long ago that Boomer-Harewood-Smithers-Montgomery was a Little Italy of sorts - or at least an Appalachian version of a Little Italy. Boomer Coal and Coke Co. started mining in Boomer in 1897, though these company houses probably date from a later time.



Apr. 2015 image by author

Ruins of the coal camp that was at Vanetta, W.Va.,near Gauley Bridge. The Lynchburg Colliery Co. opened the Vanetta mine in 1904, and the coal was marketed as "Midway Coal." There were no roads to Vanetta, or nearby Gamoca and Wyndal, only the New York Central Railroad and swinging bridges across the Gauley River, and hardly anything remains today. The mines closed in 1927.


July 2009 WVDEP AML Program image

Portal near Swiss, W.Va. from an old punch mine. A punch mine, also called a country bank mine, was a small, independent mine which an individual or small group of miners would operate, ususally on a seasonal basis.


March 2016 image by author

Cemetery behind a coal truck dump to coal barger loader in Coalburg, W.Va.





There was a district of the Kanawha Coalfield in which the southern extent of the Pittsburgh and Freeport seams occur. Coal industry author Phil Conley included this area in Clay County, northern Kanawha County, and along the Kanawha River in Putnam and southern Mason Counties, with the Kanawha Coalfield, but I am almost tempted to group it with the Pomery Coalfield. Let's just call it the Northern Kanawha Coalfield. Queen Shoals Coal Co. operated at Queen Shoals on the Kanawha-Clay County line. There were also coal mines at Raymond City (Marmet Coal Co.) and Energetic (now Bancroft) (Energetic Coal Company) in this area.


1921 image by Lewis Hine, National Child Labor Committee Collection, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs

This coal camp - Bream, WV - was located on the bank of the Elk River, a few miles north of Downtown Charleston.



Sep. 2004 image by author

Putnam County coal company town named Black Betsy, WV. The Black Betsy Coal and Mining company opened the coal mine here in 1902.


Image by others This was the Black Betsy company store. This is a very similar design to the company store that used to exist at Glen Jean, WV, and still exists at Whipple, WV




Aug. 1973 image by Harry Schaefer, courtesy of the National Archives

Plymouth Coal & Mining Co. operated built this coal camp to support the mines they operated in Putnam County from 1901 until 1924. Their mines were named California, Manilla, and Plymouth. When this photo was taken in 1973 Plymouth still existed. But the last vestiges of the the coal comany town were removed in the late 1980s.


Nov. 2015 image by author

Well, this is not really an interesting photo. I took it from the passenger seat of a car on Route 35. It is of an old silo along the Kanwaha River from the Putnam Mine that was owned by Union Carbide Corporation. The mine was actually in Mason County, not Putnam County, but they named it the Putnam Mine. It was in the Pittsburgh coal seam, and only operated from 1968 until 1971.


Aug. 2003 image by author

This is Widen, WV, in Clay County, site of much UMWA warfare, where the mines were owned by the Elk River Coal and Lumber Company before being sold to the Clinchfield Coal Company, a subsidiary of Pittston Coal Company.


Aug. 2003 image by author

Here are some of the board and batten coal camp houses in Widen. The Clinchfield Coal Company closed the Widen mines in 1963.


Jan. 2012 WVDEP AML Program image

Old coal mining equipment near Bickmore, Clay County, W.Va. remaining from a Five Block coal seam mine of Lemonye Coal Co. (and later J.C. Legg Co.).


Jan. 2012 WVDEP AML Program image

Coal refuse pile (slate dump) at the Lemonye Coal co. site near Bickmore.


1982 image from wvncrails.weebly.com

Remains of the Martha Mines tipple near Queen Shoals.


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