Skelton mine was opened by Cranberry Fuel Co. in 1906. In 1935 the New River Company acquired Cranberry Fuel's mines at Skelton, Sprague, and Cranberry. The Skelton mine produced Beckley seam coal on and off until 1985, although, at the end, it was being trucked down to the prep plant and loadout at Meadow Creek.

Starting in the 1960s development began to transform the Skelton area from a coal camp to the main shopping center for Beckley. The bottom land, which was swampy, was drained, and stores and malls proliferated. The mine continued to produce amidst the new developments during this transformation. Today there are bits and pieces of the Skelton coal camp interspersed with various commercial and retail facilities.

January 2013 image by author

What looks like a small electrical sub-station from the Skelton Mine. This is near the intersection of New River Drive and Pikeview Drive.

Image by others

The Skelton tipple as it looked in the late 1970s.

Oct. 2014 image by author

The same view (tipple site) today.

West Virginia coal camp
Oct. 2014 image by author

A few of the remaining company houses, some still sporting their original metal roofs. A used car lot is in the foreground.

West Virginia coal company houses
2015 image by author

A closer view of these coal company houses.

West Virginia coal company homes
2015 image by author

The metal roofs have held up well.

Oct. 2014 image by author

These different styled company houses were probably added later when the mine expanded production. The gravel road in front of the house was originally the bed for the railroad going out to the mine at Cranberry.

Oct. 2014 image by author

This was the superintendent's house at Skelton. In typical coalfields fashion, it sat up on a hill overlooking the mine. Sometime in the 1990s the house was actually moved to its present location at the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine, which is where this picture was taken.

Aug. 2014 image by author

This small structure is on the hill behind L&S Toyota, near where the Skelton super's house used to be located. It must have been some kind of outbuilding that went with the house.

Image by others

This was the Skelton company store. New River Company closed it at the late date of 1969. What's really interesting is that a September 1967 Charleston Gazette article states that this store (and three other W.Va. company stores) was still issuing and accepting scrip at that late date. There is a Rite Aid at this site now.

1951 New River Co. image

Coal miners riding the man trip through Skelton.