STANAFORD

Stanaford is in the outskirts of Beckley. Most people think of Stanaford as the area along Route 41, but it originally below that in Piney Creek gorge. I don't know who first opened a coal mine at Stanaford, which would have been in the first decade of the 20th century, but it may have been Piney Coal and Coke Company. Later Eastern Fuel and Gas operated the Stanaford mines. The New River Company also ran Stanaford. By the 1970s and 1980s Stanaford coal was transported to the Meadow Creek prep plant for processing and final shipment.


Orignially the Stanaford coal camp was at the bottom of the mountain next to the tipple. None of those homes have survived. Later these company houses were constructed at the top of the mountain. (Feb. 2005 image by author)


Only a few of these coal camp houses remain at Stanaford. (Feb. 2005 image by author)


The hoist house is still at the top of the mountain, too. (Feb. 2005 image by author)


However, the incline and tipple are now demolished, and only the foundations such as this remain. (Feb. 2005 image by author)


A piece of chutework laying around the tipple ruins. (Feb. 2005 image by author)


These foundations once cradled a horizontal tank. (Feb. 2005 image by author)


This vertical tank is still extant at the Stanaford tipple site. (Feb. 2005 image by author)


I was surprised to learn that there was another tipple across the railroad tracks from the Stanaford tipple. It was on a long ago abandoned rail siding of which only moss-covered ties remain. This wooden tipple, shown here, is now a collapsed heap of boards. A conveyor coming to the tipple spanned Piney Creek, and came from a headhouse on the other side of the stream, visable in the background of this picture. (Feb. 2005 image by author)

Update: I have learned that this tipple was from the Beckley Fire Creek Coal Company's Penman Mine. The mine was in the Fire Creek seam on the other side of Piney Creek from Stanaford. The actual coal camp of Penman was high up on the plateau above, next to where the federal prison is now located. There were about 50 houses, a company store, and a school.


The Penman Mine conveyor that crossed the stream has been twisted by flooding. It was probably the incredible flood of July 2001 that uprooted the concrete support. (Feb. 2005 image by author)


One of the only reminders that people once lived in Piney Creek gorge. (Some people do live on Upper Piney Creek south of Beckley.) (Feb. 2005 image by author)


All that's left there are foundations and ruins of mine structures and the CSX rail spur that goes from Prince to Glen Daniel. (Feb. 2005 image by author)


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