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CRANBERRY

Cranberry, on upper Cranberry Creek in Raleigh County, was one of the few shaft mines in the area. It was originally owned by the Cranberry Fuel Co., and later by the New River Co. The mine, which was down in the Sewell seam, closed in 1958, followed a few months later by the company store. The mine was reopened for a while in the late 1960s and shut down for good in 1973. The New River Co. sold the slate dump to local contractor Bill West, because he wanted the "red dog."

Nyla Creed DePauk has written an interesting web page about Cranberry that is worth checking out.


The company store at Cranberry, built in 1927, housed an antique store at the time of this photograph. (Feb. 2001 image by author)


These coal camp houses have been taken care of, probably due to their proximity to the "city" of Beckley. (Feb. 2001 image by author)


The engine house for the shaft hoist. (Feb. 2001 image by author)


Detail of the engine house shows the rectangular hole near the top through which the hoist cable passed. (Mar. 2005 image by author)


Another extant structure from the Cranberry mine is the dynamite shack. (Mar. 2005 image by author)


I'm not sure what function this shed near the tipple site served. (Mar. 2005 image by author)


A vintage photo showing rail cars that have been loaded with coal at the Cranberry tipple with the coal camp in the background. (Image from the out of print book "The New River Company-Mining Coal and Making History 1906-1976")


Even though this picture of the tipple at Cranberry was taken in the 1920's, it seems like it still looked much like this when it was sitting abandoned in the 1980's. (1928 image courtesy of Walter Caldwell)

Mike writes, "I grew up in Beckley and used to play in the Cranberry tipple after the mine closed about 1974. We had at least one BB-gun battle there. The nearby slate dump was a major draw for us kids from the mid-60s on. It has been flattened and the towers on either side of it razed. My father knew the man who dumped most of the slag for the dump. This fellow went to work running the dump bucket at age 18 when they built the tipple in 1927 and retired in '74."


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