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WICKHAM, WV

A coal camp on the edge of Beckley that was originally named Bickel and also known as the Beckley Slope mine. Despite the name the Beckley Slope mine was in the Sewell, not Beckley, seam of coal, and it was opened in 1903 by the Beckley Coal and Coke Company, a concern owned by Thomas Wickham. This company was absorbed into the newly formed New River Company in 1906. The Wickham tipple closed in 1930 and coal from the mine was taken to the nearby Mabscott tipple for processing and loading. The operation probably closed before the end of World War II. Today Wickham is part of Mabscott, and it is unlikely that there is anyone still alive that worked in the mines there.


A fuzzy and ancient picture of Wickham when it was new. (Image from the out of print book "The New River Company-Mining Coal and Making History 1906-1976")


These are how the company houses from the above photo look today, and they are a familiar site to anyone that travels Whitestick St. in Mabscott. (Oct. 2004 image by author)


These houses, which are in the right side of the vintage picture above, are larger than the miners' company houses, and may have been the homes of the company doctor, store manager, and other company officials. (Oct. 2001 image by author)


The power house is all that is left of the Wickham coal mine. It is currently part of the David Hill Concrete plant. (Oct. 2004 image by author)


The power house and tipple as they appeared during the mining years. (Image from the out of print book "Tribute to the Coal Industry)


Coal camp houses built on the hill behind where the mine was located. They may have been built at a later date when demand for coal was high and the company was increasing production. (Oct. 2004 image by author)


A rare photograph of the Wickham company store, which burned many years ago. (Image from the out of print book "The New River Company-Mining Coal and Making History 1906-1976")


In classic coal town fashion the superintendent's house sat on a hill looking down on the mine and workers' homes. But in this coal mining town many of the homes were up on the hills around the mine, too. (Aug. 2014 image by author)


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