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BONNY BLUE, VIRGINIA

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These homes built by Blue Diamond Coal Company (headquartered in Middlesborough, Ky.) are all that remains of Bonny Blue, Lee County, Virginia. Bonny Blue is described in Rex Bowman's "Blue Ridge Chronicles" as "... a string of small homes along a band of asphalt that quickly turns into two muddy ruts. Dogs, chickens and cats wander across the small yards in front of the houses and along a shallow creek that runs through the hollow. Bits of rusting iron scraps litter the landscape." (Dec. 2008 image by author)


Bonny Blue tipple and the bottom of the 3/4 mile long incline coming from the head house. Some of these collieries were really engineering marvels. The coal from Bonny Blue was marketed under the name "Blue Diamond Virginia Coal," and later, "Bonny Blue Red Ash Coal." (Circa 1926 image from The Coal Trade Bulletin via Google Books)


Elevation view of the Bonny Blue Coal Company's tipple, with shaker screens inside, loading booms for "lump" and "egg" coal, and chutes for "slack" coal and house coal wagons. (Circa 1926 image from The Coal Trade Bulletin via Google Books)


Coal miners in the Bonny Blue mine operating a Goodman Universal Control Shortwall mining machine. (Circa 1926 image from The Coal Trade Bulletin via Google Books)

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