SUN, WV

Even though there is hardly anything left of them anymore, the Sun coal mines were one of the largest coal and coke operations in the New River Coalfield. In 1920 they employed 380 people and produced 208,442 tons of coal. Sun, WV was constructed (probably in the 1890's) by the New River Smokeless Coal Company. Around 1909 the New River Collieries Company acquired Sun, and they operated it until 1923. The final owner of the Sun mines was Stonega Coal & Coke Company, who ran Sun until they closed it in 1931. Sewell coal was mined in Sun Nos. 1, 2, & 3 mines, and some of it was coked in the facility's 125 beehive coke ovens. Nothing at all remains of the coke ovens today, and I have never seen a picture of them, either. By looking at state mining records it looks like Stonega Coal & Coke Co. took over the Sun coal mines in 1924. Stonega's production peaked in 1927 when they mined 503,574 tons of coal at Sun. The mines were closed in 1931.


A few of the remaining coal camp houses from the New River Colliery Company's mining camp at Sun, WV. (October 2009 image by author)


A nicely dressed crowd poses in front of the Sun company store. (Image courtesy of Edward Dziedzic)


Another old picture of the Sun company store. By the time this photo was taken in the 1920's Stonega Coal & Coke Company was the owner of Sun mines and coal camp. (Image courtesy of Walter Caldwell)


Patrick F. sent in this picture taken in 1915 at Sun, WV. He writes, "Here is a photo and a little information for your collection. Ruth Williamson (later married John Drenan), on the steps of the store at Sun, West Virginia. Taken about 1915. Ruth's sister Nellie (Williamson) Chase managed the boarding house there for a few years. Nellie's daughter wrote, 'My first memories of living anywhere was in Sun, West Virginia . Dad was a rock and coal contractor in the mines there, and Mother managed the Boarding House. My Grandma Williamson, and Mother's younger sister Ruth came to live with us there. Dad also worked in the ice-house across from the Boarding House and behind the store, when the mines were idle. I have memories of the Boarding House, the ice house, the school house, and the Church. We had big lilac bushes in the yard and I loved the flowers.'" (Image courtsy of Patrick)


Old, old, old photograph of what Sun, WV used to look like. (Image courtesy of Walter Caldwell)


New River Collieries Company Sun No. 1 tipple replete with shaker screens and picking tables. Note the company houses on the background. How did anyone get any sleep living next (Image courtesy of Walter Caldwell)


The Sun No. 2 tipple was equally as impressive. (Image courtesy of Walter Caldwell)


As you can see, Sun No. 2 was a shaft mine, whereas No. 1 & No. 3 were slope mines.


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