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FOUR STATES (ANNABELLE), WV

Four States, WV is a coal camp located in the back of an isolated hollow in southern Marion County. It was constructed in 1910 and opened in 1911 by Four States Coal & Coke Co., a subsidiary of the Pittsburg(sic) and Buffalo Co. from Pennsylvania. At the time the mine and mining town were called Annabelle, named after Annabelle Jones, daughter of Pittsburg-Buffalo co-owner Thomas Jones. At first the land and coal reserves were purchased under the name Annabelle Coal & Coke Co., but the company name was soon changed to Four States. Annabelle No. 1 Mine was a shaft mine. Four States operated the Annabelle mine continuously until 1932. In 1926 this mine produced 384,113 tons of coal, which Four States rated at 14,100 BTU/lb and only 0.82% sulfur (which seems too low for the Fairmont Field coal). The lump, nut, pea, and slack coal was marketed for use in by-product coke ovens, coal gas manufacture, and the New England/East Coast industrial and residential markets. After being closed a few years it was put back into production in 1938 and 1939 by the similarly named Four States Coal Co. I had once stated that Four States/Annabelle was later owned by Christopher Coal Co., but now I don't know where I got that information.


The company housing consists of two story red brick homes, and supposedly had indoor plumbing from the start. The coal preparation complex would have been located in the land at the bottom of the hill, but it and the related B&O rail spur have been demolished. These homes were built with bricks made at a brick plant Pittsburg-Buffalo had on the site. That company had previous experience manufacturing bricks at their large brick plant at Johnetta, PA. (Nov. 2004 image by author)


Vintage photo of the coal camp housing on the other side of the hollow at Four States. These were simpler, wood framed company houses. I believe that this photo was actually taken on the other side of the hollow from where the brick homes are located. There are only a few of these homes remaining now. In the lower part of the photo are gondola rail cars loaded with coal. (Image courtesy of others)


Another old photo of the simpler frame company houses. (Pittsburg-Buffalo image via Google Books)


The colliery under construction. (Pittsburg-Buffalo image via Google Books)


Power house being built. The company housing has already been erected in the background. (Pittsburg-Buffalo image via Google Books)


Lining the vertical mine shaft with concrete. (Pittsburg-Buffalo image via Google Books)


(Pittsburg-Buffalo image via Google Books)


(Pittsburg-Buffalo image via Google Books)


(Nov. 2004 image by author)

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