I am lumping these two together because I can't tell where one ends and the other begins.

The first company at Whipple was Justis Collins' Whipple Colliery Co. An explosion at the mine in 1907 killed 16 miners. The Whipple mine closed in 1957.

Carlisle was named after a town in Scotland. The White Oak Fuel Co. began mining here in 1899. Later the New River Co. ran it, and they closed the mine in 1965, but not before 21 miners died in an explosion of the mine in 1915.

Both the Whipple and Carlisle mines were in the 48-inch Sewell seam of coal. For a time the shaft opening at Carlisle was known as "Oakwood".

Lowell Thomas, the newscaster from radio's golden era, once broadcast from inside the mine. According to Shirley Donnelly, Thomas's over-the-air broadcast said, "...600 feet underground in the Whipple mine of the White Oak Coal Co. near Mount Hope, in the heart of West Virginia, 70 miles east of Charleston ... All around me are the tunnels - 50 miles of them-from which coal is brought from distant parts of this mine by small electric trains - 1,800 tons of it a day. To keep it dry down here, four times as much water much be take out of the mine each day - 8,000 tons of water, and 1,800 tons of coal. To make it safe as possible, non-inflamable powder is used for shooting down the coal. Miners use electric lamps on their fibre helments, instead of the old-time carbide flame, and white dust is spread all around - non-explosive dust - to keep that terrible black coal dust from exploding and blowing up the place, as used to happen so often." Also, Mr. Thomas asked coal operator Colonel S.A. Scott to come up to the microphone, and he asked, "Mr. Scott, are things any better in the mines as far as both miners and employers are concerned?" To which Col. Scott replied, "We've had our difficulties, but, for the time being, the seem to be ironed out." In case you don't know that was a question about organized labor.

The coal camp of Carlisle. (Feb. 2001 image by author)

Another section of Carlisle, with homes that probably belonged to the company store manager, company doctor, mine engineer, etc. (Feb. 2001 image by author)

The New River Co. "Oakwood Store" at Carlisle, built in 1928. (Feb. 2001 image by author)

Looking up the Carlisle coal camp toward the store. (Apr. 2009 image by author)

A row of company built houses in Carlisle. (Apr. 2009 image by author)

The durable metal roofs on these coal camp houses have lasted a century.(Apr. 2009 image by author)

Daybreak at "Hunk Hill." "Hunk" was a local term for the Hungarian, Polish, Italian, and Slavic immigrants which came to the mines on White Oak and Dunloop Creeks in droves between 1900 to 1925 to work in the mines. This was their area of the camp. (Feb. 2001 image by author)

There were so many "hunks" on White Oak Creek from Carlisle to Glen Jean that a Catholic Church was built there. Mass has been cancelled at this location indefinately. This is the original Saints Peter and Paul Church, which moved to Oak Hill in 1966 and is still located there. The old Catholic school and rectory are also still standing. (Feb. 2001 image by author)

The Catholic cemetary with "Hunk Hill" in the background. (Jul. 2007 image by author)

Venanzio Di Zio's headstone. He may have died in the mines. (Feb. 2001 image by author)

Anna Smisko's tombstone, written in Polish or Czekoslovakian or something. (Feb. 2001 image by author)

The headstone of Natale Delucanto written in Italian, (Feb. 2001 image by author)

"Brothers who worked and died together in the mine." (Jul. 2007 image by author)

The Knights of Columbus erected this sign at the entrance to the graveyard in the 1990s, with a narrative about coal miners who died in mining accidents. The sign further advises visitors to the graveyard to "say a prayer for those who died in the darkness so we can enjoy the sunlight." (Dec. 2004 image by author)

The Whipple Company Store, built in the 1890s and still standing in the 21st Century. It is now operated by Joy and Chuck Lynn as the Whipple Company Store and Appalachian Heritage Museum, and fascinating tours of the historic structure and its contents are given from May until October. I especially enjoyed the manual freight elevator. (Dec. 2004 image by author)

Some of the remaining coal camp houses in Whipple. (Dec. 2004 image by author)

1970s street scene in Whipple, with the company store in the background. (Image courtesy of Larry Humphrey)

The Whipple tipple. (Image from the out of print book "The New River Company-Mining Coal and Making History 1906-1976")

Whipple slate dump (Feb. 2001 image by author)

The Oakwood mine tipple at Carlisle as it looked after the mine was shut down. (1973 image courtesy of Vernon Delung)

These ruins of the Oakwood coal mine remained in the hollow behind the Oakwood company store. The tipple foundations were in the weeds, a tall red brick shaft enclosure was in the center of the photo, a repair shop was on the hill above that, and the remains of a building that was either a supply house, repair shop, or power house was to the right. (Nov. 2007 image by author)

Detail of the ornate masonry on the building that was probably a power house or supply house. (Nov. 2007 image by author)

The building that is at the top of the ruins - perhaps a repair shop or lamp house. (Nov. 2007 image by author)

This was probably a guide tower for aerial tramway cables carrying refuse to the slate dump, a portion of which remains on the top of the hill. (Nov. 2007 image by author)

It is unclear what this structure was, but it is on the hillside near the slate dump. (Nov. 2007 image by author)

Sadly the historic remains of the Oakwood mine were being reclaimed in 2009. (Apr. 2009 image by author)

Also these structures from a 1970s or 80s-era operation were still in existence in the Carlisle - Whipple vicinity as late as 2007, but have since been reclaimed. (Jul. 2007 image by author)

(2018 image by author)


At the Whipple Company Store. (Apr. 2008 image by author)

At Saints Peter and Paul Cemetery. (Apr. 2008 image by author)

At the crumbling powerhouse of the Oakwood Mine. (Apr. 2008 image by author)

At the ruins of the Oakwood tipple. (Apr. 2008 image by author)

The tour concluded in nearby Thurmond, WV. (Apr. 2008 image by author)