Southern West Virginia was constructed on coal mining and one doesn’t need to look really hard to find an old charcoal mining town.

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But the coal towns of the new River Gorge space a little different. Lock were small and remote, etched right into the next of the mountain and also mostly cutoff from every other except by rail. The communities of the gorge were exit after the coal ended up being too difficult to mine because living in this area to be a tough existence.

There were fine over 15 mining towns located in just the lower 14 mile stretch the the brand-new River Gorge national Park.

Here’s a watch at three of these towns that you can visit to get a peek into the mining the yesteryear.



The restored Thurmond Depot

Thurmond is by far the most well known of every the new River coal towns. From gift the site of a civilization record poker game, to shipping an ext freight than cities favor Cincinnati, to serving as the collection of significant motion picture, this town has one hell of a history.

Thurmond was one of two significant shipping clues in the brand-new River Gorge and also still has plenty of standing buildings and also a couple of residents. The financial institution of Thurmond and the hotel over it is just o

ne the the structures that room still a component of this old coal town.

The national Park Service restored the old Thurmond Depot a few years ago and currently it serves together a wonderful visitor center and also museum. The Depot is the centerpiece the this old mining town and also hopefully later on will it is in only one of many restored buildings.

Thurmond is accessed indigenous Glen Jean via county Rt. 25 and also is only about 15 minutes from

Oak Hill.


Built in the 1880’s by man Nuttall, Nuttallburg to be made famous when Henry Ford purchase it as a way of obtaining high quality coal to power his growing auto industry.

The Fordson Mine was only open a few years before it was marketed again early to difficulties in transporting coal indigenous WV come Michigan.

This town is located in the heart of the whitewater section of the brand-new River, between the rapids Dudley’s dip and double Z. Thousands of thousands of world have floated right by it and never well-known it to be there due to the lush forest hiding the secrets. When the leaves room off you

can still check out the tipple and the tremendous coal conveyor, which in ~ 1385 feet was among the longest button and rope conveyors ever developed at a charcoal mine.


The Kaymoor mines were several of the largest and most abundant mines in the Gorge. The town

was actually split, with few of it situated on the height of the Gorge and also some that it under on the river.

Kaymoor had actually no churches, banks, saloons or a city hall however did havetwo schools (at the top and bottom that the town), a company store and also a pool hall.

Upon exploration you deserve to still see the old Kaymoor flour house, the coke ovens and also remnants of plenty of of the old structures. There are likewise two barricaded old mine portals that provide you simply a glimpse that what going back into a mine was choose in those days.

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The Kaymoor charcoal mines will certainly be the most complicated of the three to access. You have the right to either hike under from the top, accessed in ~ Garten via county Rt. 9/2, or hike in 2 mile from Fayette station Rd (Co. Rt. 82) in ~ the trailhead.

What other coal towns perform you introduce visiting?