This mining town was built in 1881 by George Caperton alongside the main line of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad. Caperton was later president of The New River Company. The orgininal name of the town was "Mincar." Around 1900 Queen Victoria allegedly owned the Caperton operation to provide coal for England (under the name Victoria Coal & Coke). Sewell Colliery Co. owned the mine in the teens and they called the mine "Sugar Camp." However, the mine closed in the '40s or '50s. The school for white children was closed in 1952, the post office in 1954, and the town was abandoned shortly thereafter.

The tipple and part of the coal camp at Caperton in the 1870's. (Image courtesy of West Virginia and Regional History Collection, West Virginia University Libraries)

Caperton beehive coke ovens. (Mar. 2001 image by author)

Detail of the coke ovens. (Mar. 2001 image by author)

The cut stone foundations for the tipple are terraced into the mountainside. (Mar. 2001 image by author)

A monitor car is still dangling from the cable across the tipple ruins. (Mar. 2001 image by author)

The monitor car hoist at the top of the incline. (Mar. 2001 image by author)

The monitor car hoist looking down the incline. (Mar. 2001 image by author)

This tenacious structure was possibly a boarding house. A 1987 site inventory for the Park Service said this structure was "largely erect 40' high but nearly rotted to the point of collapse made of wood and metal very dangerous." Fortunately, the NPS has not destroyed the historic structure. (Mar. 2001 image by author)

The ruins of the Caperton mansion. It stood until a tree fell across it in 1984. It was located at the end of the swinging bridge that connected Caperton and Elverton.

The creepy, abandoned, Gothic looking Caperton mansion before it collapsed. (Circa early 1980's image courtesy of Stan Cohen)

"The term 'ghost town' implies former activity, perhaps greatness, as manifested in decrepit buildings and other ruins. A ghost town is a place that is being reclaimed by nature, and we seem to take a perverse interest in the aesthetics and symbolism of time marching into, and over, such forlorn places," says Richard Francaviglia in "Hard Places, Reading the Landscape of America's Historic Mining Districts."