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REAM, WV (GARY NO. 6)

This was another one of the United States Coal and Coke Co. mines in McDowell County that mined high quality met coal for U.S. Steel. Eventually there would be 14 such mines around the Gary, WV, and Ream was the No.6 coal mine and coke works. Ream is up the hollow between Gary (No. 3) and Elbert (No. 8). Ream No. 6 opened in 1904 and mined coal in the Pocahontas No. 4 seam. As late as 1948 over 1.5 million tons of coal were mined at Ream, yet U.S. Coal and Coke shut the mine down in 1949. The beehive coke works were opened into the 1920's.


Vintage photo showing a portion of Ream. The large two story building was the company store, and most of the company housing was up the narrow hollow behind the store. The photographer was probably standing above the coke ovens (abandoned by then) on the road from Gary to Elbert. (1940's image from "A Medical Survey of the Bituminous Coal Industry" via the National Archives)


The sad condition of the Ream company store at the end of its life. As of 2006 the store had been demolished. (Mar. 2004 image by author)


Drift mouth portal remaining from U.S. Coal and Coke's No. 6 mine at Ream, WV. (2007 image courtesy of Jeff Davis)


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