ANJEAN, WV

This coal town was named for Ann & Jean Leckie, mother and daughter of the owner of Leckie Smokeless Coal Co., which constructed the Anjean mining operation and operated it for over 60 years before going bankrupt in 1993. (The biography of coal baron William Leckie is here. The Anjean mines were opened in 1925 in the Sewell and Fire Creek seams. This has probably been the Greenbrier Field's most productive operation, utilizing both deep and surface mining methods to extract the smokeless coal along Big Clear Creek. Mining at Anjean continued into the 1990s. Royal Scot Minerals was the final operator of the Anjean mines, themselves going bankrupt and closing the operation in 1999.


Bill Richmond contributed this vintage "bird's eye" view of Anjean. He writes, "Here is a picture of Anjean I found, back in it's heyday. You can see the mine at the top, and the company store and the Leckie house. This picture has a lot to look at, the way it was as they say 'back in the day.' To see this and go there really gets the mind wondering and your eyes looking for what used to be."


The Leckie Smokeless Coal Co. preparation plant being gutted in January 2001. This is a different coal plant than the older tipple/plant that was located down in the valley next to the town.


Ruins of the coal camp with the preparation plant on the mountain in the background.


Another part of the coal camp.


The company store. This was allegedly demolished in February 2012.


A rail loadout that was probably not particularly old when photographed in April 2001. This is actually at the same location of the original tipple.


JR Vied contributes this old photograph of the Anjean tipple and shares his memories of working at the Anjean mines: "The mine I worked at was No. 8 and helped open No. 5...I also worked on the tipple and the strip mines...The last day I worked the coal was 26 inches high...we left in 1953." JR would like to hear from others who worked and lived around Anjean.


JR also scanned in this old snapshot for us. It's a view of the company store looking down the railroad tracks. He says, "The store was still open when we left Anjean...had a doctor's office under the store...the mines were running every day then."


Another photo from JR, which he describes, "This is my children at Anjean...my kids were born at Anjean...We paid $9.00 a month rent for our coal camp house at Anjean."


JR also contributed this photograph of the aftermath of a flood in the Anjean coal camp.

Robert's email reads, "[M]y family is from Princeton and I lived there in the 70's. All of my family worked the mines in Southern West Virginia and I watched them suffer and die from black lung throughout my childhood in the 60's ... 20+ Years ago I worked in Anjean on Cold Knob. I visited the area 5 years ago and did not recognize much. Strip mining tends to do that to areas. What a shame. There were some beautiful hollows there at one time. The old company store was used as a hydraulic hose manufacturing shop during my time there. Great memories. When the mines began to close one by one, I found myself (like many others) faced with no future and was forced to leave. I'd almost forgotten much of that part of my past and you made me search deep in my memories. What I found there was both a delight and sadness. Thanks for your website. Great stuff. I hope you can continue to bring more to light before these places are forgotten."

Curtis writes, "I was reviewing your articles on Anjean WV and the Leckie coal mines. As a young fellow I always listened carefully of my grandparents history with Leckie. Both of them worked for the company for 40 years. My grandmother in the offices and my grandfather in the mines, in fact he lost both of his legs in a mining accident in 1941 but continued to work for the company for anther 35 years. They continued to employee him for another 20 years until his retirement. They always mentioned it was a quality organization. Sadly they have passed away but we have many items from their life. When remodeling the offices at Leckie back in the 1970s, contractors pitched a portrait of Mr. Leckie and his family on their homestead. My Grandmother pulled it out of the trash because she said she liked the old frame and nobody else wanted it. Well she never did pull the old family portriat out of the frame and it sat on their wall for many many years. Well now it hangs on our home wall. It is a beautiful early pre- 1910 panoramic view of Col. Leckie and his family, house, servants and some livestock (horses) The photo was taken by the renowned Haines Photo Co. that specialized in panaramic photos. In researching, they were hired by the govenment to shoot all DC buildings under contrustion (like the Library of congress)."

Here is part of Curtis's photograph:



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