GLEN WHITE, WV

The Scottish / Gaelic influence on southern WV is evident in the number of community names with the prefix "Glen," such as Glen Rogers, Glen Daniels, Glen Morgan, Glen Hedrick, and Glen Jean. And then there is Glen White. The Glen White mining camp was built by the E. E. White Coal Co., which was chartered on December 26, 1907. A spur was built by the Virginian Railway from their mainline to the new town, and the first Beckley seam coal shipped July 1, 1909. The Glen White mine, one of the few shaft mines in the Winding Gulf Coalfield, was on one end of a nearly 6,000 acres lease from Beaver Coal Co., and Stotesbury was on the other end. After many productive years the Glen White mine closed in 1945.

The late Dario Pitotti, of Beckley, said that his Italian-American family lived in the "hunk" section of Glen White in the 1920s and 30s. There was also a section for white Americans and one for African-American people. Dario remembered a store on the hill between Glen White and Lester which was run by a man named Albanese and catered to the Italian-American immigrants. There were even bocce courts in the back yard of the store. Dario later went on to become chief electrician for Eastern Associated Coal at Stotesbury, which was originally the other E.E. White coal mining operation. Mr. Pitotti also told me that one day at the Glen White mine the Beckley seam pinched down to 18". Company officials knew that the coal seam was thick again on the other side of this "pinch," and they asked a young Mr. Pitotti to lay on his side and mine through the confining height until the seam thickened again. He said that he hardly had room to lift his shovel and move the coal out of the way. I have no idea why the company didn't just take some rock down, or how they managed haulage through that section after Mr. Pitotti finished his grueling task.


Vintage view of Glen White, West Virginia showing company houses and the mine's rail sidings. A fairly gushing 1919 article in The Black Diamond noted that at Glen White "the management has apparently ommitted no expense to make the living conditions more like those in an ideally located mountain resort than in what one is accustomed to associate with a mining community." (Image from The Black Diamond via Google Books)


Large company houses in the middle of the coal camp. (Image by author)


These smaller homes are more numerous in the Glen White coal camp, and probably represent the housing provided for the average coal miner and his family. (Image by author)


Some of the miners' homes still in existence along Route 54. (Image by author)


These company built houses at the back of the town still look original. When the coal company still owned the homes they were probably all painted the same color. (Image by author)


Typical of a coal camp hierarchy, these larger homes sit at a higher elevation than the miner's homes "in the bottom" and probably were inhabited by mine foreman and bosses. (Image by author)


The nicest house in the Glen White coal camp is the extant mansion that was built for owner E.E. White, and sits on a bluff overlooking the town. (Image by author)


A portrait of E.E. White - obviously an enlightened and refined gentleman. (Image from The Black Diamond via Google Books)


The White mansion, which allegedly contains a ballroom, is now on the National Register of Historic Places. At the foot of the hill in front of the house is a "Service Roll" monument. (Image by author)


Detail of Service Roll, a monument which lists community residents that served in the military. These are common in coal mining towns of Western Pennsylvania, but they are not usually found in Southern WV coal camps. (Image by author)


This Baptist church dates back to the coal camp era of Glen White. (Image by author)


The progressive E.E. White Coal Co. constructed this recreation hall containing bowling alleys, pool tables, refreshment counter, and ice cream parlor. On the upper floor could be found a reading room, class room, and auditorium. (Image from The Coal Industry via Google Books)


Inside the recreation hall's auditorium. (Image from The Coal Industry via Google Books)


The former offices of the coal company. The company store used to sit beside this structure. (Image by author)


The power house has been recycled into a church. With so much cut stone work falling into ruin in WV it is nice to see some of it being saved and put to use. (Image by author)


Most other features of the Glen White coal mine are gone, but these tipple foundations are still there. (Image by author)


Next to the tipple foundations are the stone ruins of another mine building. (Image by author)


The coal shaft, tipple, and power house are visable in this vintage photo of the Glen White colliery. There also was a man shaft for this mine. (Image from The Black Diamond via Google Books)


August 4, 1918 photo of a car of Glen White coal that was to be presented to the Red Cross. (Image from The Coal Industry via Google Books)


The Glen White machine shop shown here is no longer in existence. (Image from The Black Diamond via Google Books)


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