Modern coal loader near Norton, Va. (2017 image by author)

Norton rail yard looking north. I guess at one time this was the property of the L&N, but now it is a Norfolk-Southern yard, and it is still staffed. (2017 image by author)

The northern end of the Norton rail yard. (2017 image by author)

Scene just north of Norton. (2017 image by author)

Drift portal from the Clinchfield Coal Company's Spashdam Mine, near Haysi. (Nov. 2016 image by author)

Coal tipple at Tacoma, Virginia. (Dec. 2008 image by author)

Linden, Virginia coal camp - now eradicated. (Image courtesy of the Rasnick family)

This portal at the base of Black Mountain was probably from the Linden or Laurie mine. (Jan. 2007 image by author)

Most of the original coke ovens in the Big Stone Gap Coalfield are gone. A few were rumored to be still in existence at Keokee, but me and Jack Mac from Big Stone Gap looked for them back in 2008 and only found random stones and bricks. However, the coke ovens pictured here - latter day coke ovens built in the 1940s at Pine Branch - can still be found. They don't look like beehive ovens, but rather rectangular ovens. (Image courtesy of Rhonda Robinson)

Idled coal loading facility near Pennington Gap, Virginia. (Dec. 2008 image by author)

Another former Stonega Coal & Coke company town - Exeter, Virginia. (Image courtesy of the Virginia Coal Heritage Trail)

Railroad underpass in St. Paul still says Clinchfield Railroad. (2017 image by author)

A Dickenson County scene - a general store with a Clinchfield Railroad trestle in the background. (Nov. 2016 image by author)

The Virginia Iron, Coke, & Coal Co. built the Toms Creek coal camp in 1902. These coal company houses are gone now. (Image courtesy of Pauline Ownes)

A remaining structure from the Toms Creek coal mine. (Virginia Coal Heritage Trail image)

This really isn't an interesting photograph, but the subject is interesting. This houses is one of the last instances of a coal company building a residentail community for its employees. The year was 1952, and the Clinchfield Coal Company built a small housing development south of Pound, Virginia. They called it New Camp. (Nov. 2016 image by author)

Another New Camp house along Route 23. 1952 was a very late date for a coal company to be building company houses. (Nov. 2016 image by author)

Beehive coke ovens at Dorchester, Va. (Image courtesy of Annette Hall Fields)

Those same Dorchester ovens when they were still fired up at night. (March 1961 image by Bill Gordon)

Ancient photo of a now-vanished Dickenson County coal camp named Steinman. Steinman Coal Corp. opened the mines in 1918. A later operator was Ruth-Elkhorn Coals, Inc. (Image source forgotten)

This idled coal loading facility was probably a casualty of the post-2008 wounding of the Central Appalachian coal industry.(Nov. 2016 image by author)

Altar made of coal in St. Anthony Catholic Church in Norton. (Image by William Yearout)

You can tell Andover, Va. is a company town. But it's not a coal company town. Rather the Interstate Railroad built the houses for its employees. Andover was also the location of an important rail yard, which is still in operation. (2017 image by author)

This pillar at the Andover train yard still says, "I.R.R." Interstate Railroad. (2017 image by author)

Coal being loaded into rail cars at Andover. (2017 image by author)

Monument to Sam Church in Louis E. Henegar Miners Memorial Park in Appalachia. (2017 image by author)

Historic coal mining equipment displayed in Henegar Park. An actual loaded coal train is in the background (not part of the park). (2017 image by author)

This little fan in Henegar Park is the smallest coal mine fan I've ever seen. (2017 image by author)

This loadout is located at the site where Clinchfield Coal Company's Moss No. 1 prep plant used to sit. Red arrow points to a part of the conveyor that was part of the original Moss No. 1 mine. In 1959 Moss No. 1 was the 5th largest producing coal mine in America. (Nov. 2016 image by author)

"Helper" locomotive still sitting around the end of the tracks where Moss No. 1 was located. (Nov. 2016 image by author)

Another view of the latter day loader where the Moss No. 1 plant used to sit. (Nov. 2016 image by author)

Mountaintop removal coal mine near Pardee. (2017 image by author)


Wolfe, Ed. Coal Camps, Tipples and Mines. Walsworth Publishing Co., 2005.

Torok, George D. A Guide To Historic Coal Towns of the Big Sandy River Valley. University of Tennessee Press, 2004.