GALLOWAY, WV



I asked the employee of the Post Office at Galloway if this used to be the Simpson Creek Collieries company store, but she wasn't sure. She said it used to be operated by an Italian couple. (Dec. 2007 image by author)


The Simpson Creek Coal Co. was organized in 1916. In 1917 they began shipping Pittsburgh seam coal from their Galloway No. 1 mine at Simpson, WV. On another part of their coal lease they built the town of Galloway to house employees of the Galloway No. 2 and No. 3 mines. Shown here is the tipple and "retarding conveyor" (button line conveyor) for the Galloway No. 2 mine. (The Black Diamond image via Google Books)


Here is the Galloway No. 3 coal mining facility. Simpson Creek Coal Company's mining operations at Galloway lasted from 1918 until 1948. It is unclear whether another company took over the Galloway mines after that, or they were simply exhausted. (The Black Diamond image via Google Books)


This is probably a remnant of the "Bosses Row" in Galloway. An abaonded railroad right-of-way is in the foreground. All evidence of the mines appears to have been reclaimed. (Dec. 2007 image by author)


A portion of the Galloway coal camp shows more than one style of company housing, and probably some private housing as well. In 1918 The Black Diamond described the new mining town: "So attractive is the new town, named after the company's president, laid out that it is more of a mountain summer resort than a mining camp, as seen at first glance. The location is on a gently sloping hillside along Simpson Creek and midway between Galloway Mines No. 2 and No. 3. An ample supply of pure mountain water for domestic purposes, combined with electric lights, a modern sewerage system and attractively designed cottages and bungalows, makes this mining coummunity distinctive, and, combined with its excellent school and the interest the management takes in welfare work, has solved in advance the labor problem ..." The last part of this quote describes the industrial mentality behind "model" company towns. The idea was that if the company made living conditions pleasant enought, miners would not feel that they needed the union. A few coal barons may have provided "model" coal camps for benevolent of philanthropic reasons, but for most it was probably a pragmatic decision. (Dec. 2007 image by author)


Galloway, WV was named for J.W. Galloway, president of the Simpson Creek Coal Co. Mr. Galloway was also president of the Maryland Coal Company and Maryland Clay Products Company; a member of the Atlantic Yacht Club and Crescent Athletic Club in New York; and a member of the Maryland Country Club in Baltimore. I included this information because, although Mr. Galloway may have actually been a kind and enlightened captain of industry, he was part of the powerful East Coast business interests that, in the words of author Harry Caudill, viewed Appalachia as "little more than an internal colonial appendage of the industrial North and Midwest." (The Black Diamond image via Google Books)

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