HOME>SOUTHERN WV>POCAHONTAS COALFIELD>GILLIAM

GILLIAM, W.VA.

Gilliam Coal and Coke Co. operated their McDowell County coal mines from 1897 until 1952. An article from an October 1918 issue of The Black Diamond stated that Gilliam Coal & Coke Company "enjoys the distinction of being the fourth lease secured on the North Fork branch and the thirteenth lease in the Pocahontas field ... The original leases for the Gilliam and the Arlington operations were secured from the old Flat-Top Coal Land Association, the largest owners at that time in the field, and controlling practically all of the Pocahontas seam of coal above water, with the exception of some 17,000 acres owned by the Crozer Land Association ... The Gilliam Coal & Coke Company's holdings embraced 1096 acres of the Pocahontas No. 3 seam, and extended up the creek a mile or more to the neighboring operations of the Rolfe Collieries ... The officials of the Gilliam Coal & Coke Company are: president, J. R. Gilliam; vice-president, T. W. Gilliam; secretary and treasurer,D. A. Paine and general manager, Morriss Watts." www.addlikebutton.net


Gilliam company store. (1940's image from "A Medical Survey of the Bituminous Coal Industry" via the National Archives)


This area of Gilliam doesn't really show any defined streets, but only rough trails. The mine was getting near the end of its life, and apparently Gilliam Coal & Coke wasn't inclined to plow more money back into this company town. (1940's image from "A Medical Survey of the Bituminous Coal Industry" via the National Archives)


Kids growing up in Gilliam. (1940's image from "A Medical Survey of the Bituminous Coal Industry" via the National Archives)


This was supposed to have been the African-American neighborhood of Gilliam. A water tank is in the center of the photo, and ruins of beehive coke ovens are to the left. The 1918 Black Diamond article noted, "For many years the Gilliam was a heavy producer of coke, but more recently it has followed the prevailing policy in the district to close down the beehive ovens and ship its raw coal to by product plants, as the management fully realize the wastefulness of coking Pocahontas coal in old fashioned beehive ovens, despite the admitted fact that foundry and furnace men show a distinct partiality for the coke with the silvery sheen produced by the old fashioned hand drawn ovens. At the present time the Gilliam works has but seventy ovens in blast."(1940's image from "A Medical Survey of the Bituminous Coal Industry" via the National Archives)


A touching photo of a Gilliam miner's family saying grace. (1940's image from "A Medical Survey of the Bituminous Coal Industry" via the National Archives)


These coal camp homes still exist in Gilliam today. (Feb. 2017 image by author)


Another style of Gilliam housing. (Feb. 2017 image by author)


Coal camp house and chicken coop (fighting roosters?) (Feb. 2017 image by author)


Gilliam coal mine remains. (Feb. 2017 image by author)


I thought this might be the old vault from the company store. However, it is located at the lower end of Gilliam - not a very central location for a company store. (Feb. 2017 image by author)


Paper scrip from the Gilliam comapny store.


SOUTHERN WEST VIRGINIA COALFIELDS


APPALACHIAN COALFIELDS HOME

History of coal mining. History of West Virginia. History of McDowell County West Virginia. History of Coal. Research history. History of Welch WV. Pocahontas Coal Seam. Historic Pictures. Historic Photographs. Genealogy research. Railroad books. Historic books. Historic Maps. Bluefield History. Beckley history publications. History. Polish immigrants. Slovak immigrants. Italian immigrants. West Virginia immigrants. Appalachian music. Appalachian culture. Ghost towns pictures. Geneology. Archaeology. Historic architecture. Historic buildings. Historic towns. Organized labor. Unions. United Mine workers. Archives.