WHITBY

You can find Whitby on upper Piney Creek "out back" of Coal City. There were two coal mines at Whitby. One was operated by Sterling Smokeless Coal Company, who actually owned the town itself. The other on the "outskirts" of Whitby was owned by Smith and Stover Coal Company. Coal haulage was provided by the Virginian Railway. Mining at Whitby, which was formerly known as Stahl and Bowyer, continued until 1982, by which time Sterling had become a subsidiary of Eastern Associated. The Whitby post office, which was located in the African-American church, closed in 1988. I'd like to thank Mark for digging up some of this historical information.

Also you may want to check out Mark's webpage on Whitby.


This sign is all that's left of Sterling Smokeless Coal Company's mining operations at Whitby. (March 2006 photo)


General view of the coal camp (Feb. 2001 photo)


Company-built houses in Whitby. This design, with the pyramid-shaped roof, was popular in with coal companies. (Oct. 1998 photo)


Looking down an alley in the camp. (Sept. 2001 photo)


The superintendent's house at Whitby is still in existence. (Mar. 2006 photo)


Mark sends this photo of the "White" church at Whitby. He reports an effort by local residents to get the church declared a landmark, and recalls, "I even went to few Sunday School classes there and the mountains in the back were all coal, not grass like now. There were services there as late as 1993."


If you're down on Piney Creek, you may think this is another section of Whitby. But it is actually a neigboring coal camp named Battleship, built in the 1910's by the Battleship Coal Company. According to Whitby area historian Mark, there actually was a battleship on display there (what he calls an "attraction"). (Sept. 2001 photo)


The Virginian (later Norfolk & Western) rail spur ran through Whitby and followed Bowyer Creek up Whitby hollow, ending at the Smith and Stover mine. This wooden trestle remains from that railroad. However the steel rails in the vicinity have been removed. (Mar. 2006 photo)


At the end of the former railroad is the remains of the Smith and Stover operation, which was named the Hunter Mine. It was originally built in the 1950s by Republic Steel Company, and as such was one of the few instance of a steel company building a captive mine in the Winding Gulf Coalfield - J&L Steel's Black Eagle Mine being another. (US Steel No. 50 near Pineville was considered Pocahontas Coalfield.) (Mar. 2006 photo)


The bathhouse from the old Smith & Stover Coal Co. operation at Whitby. (Photo courtesy of Chris Crook)(March 2002 photo)


The Smith and Stover repair shop (Mar. 2006)


This feature of the Smith and Stover mine site is too small to call a structure. It is even too small for an adult to stand in. I am guessing that it was a place to store dynamite. (Mar. 2006 photo)


This contraption was even smaller yet. A dog might fit in it. The photo was taken in the same area as the photo above, and it probably stored the blasting caps. (Mar. 2006 photo)


Trolly wire supports for a mine locomotive and/or man trip (Mar. 2006 photo)


Three mine portals at a "face up" at the Smith and Stover mine. They have been covered over since this photo was taken. (Photo courtesy of Chris Crook)(March 2002 photo)


This wooden coal chute is located high on the mountain above the Smith and Stover mine site. It is believed to have served a circa 1940s strip mine, of which the highwalls have still not been backfilled as of 2006. (Mar. 2006)


The coal chute as viewed from the top. This is believed by one of WV's leading historians to be one of the earliest strip mines in the state. (Mar. 2006 photo)


A wooden head house is on the mountain above the coal chute. (Mar. 2006 photo)


The Smith and Stover operation probably dates back to the 1940s or 1950s. Despite attempts by a few idiots to destroy it, the site still stands as an example of a mid-20th Century coal mine and is a silent monument to coal mining in the Whitby, WV vicinity. (Mar. 2006 photo)


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