Rhodell is the only incorporated town on Stonecoal Creek or Winding Gulf Creek dissolved its municipal government in 2017. The original name of the town was Rhodesdale. There were two coal mines operating simultaneously on each end of Rhodell. The Francis mine at Rhodell was opened by the E.C. Minter Coal Co. in 1921, and the Rhodell Coal Co. opened the mine at the southern end of town, also known as Stonecoal Junction, in 1918.

Feb. 2001 image by author

"Downtown" Rhodell.

Dec. 1997 image by author

The late Ms. Farrugia, a Sicilian immigrant, owned this store. She came to America around 1922, and I met her when she was still running this store in 1987, a very late date to still find a first generation immigrant to the WV coalfields. In the early 21st Century, one could still meet a few second generation sons and daughters of these immigrants at St. Francis de Sales Church in Beckley, but their numbers became smaller every year. Their childern and grandchildren have dispersed from the area, returning it to the Anglo-Scotch population that was there before the mines opened.

Dec. 2014 image by author

On a return trip to Rhodell I found the little downtown section had became rather devastated over the years. I remember in the 1990s there was still a little grocery store and a few other small businesses in Rhodell. Also, a religious lady was running a clinic. But by the time Rhodell city management dissolved their town charter in 2017 there were no business left in the town.

Feb. 2001 image by author

Coal camp houses in Rhodell, probably for the Francis mine.

Dec. 2014 image by author

In 2014 I found many of these company houses still inhabited.

Dec. 2014 image by author

The company houses at the other end of town, built by the Rhodell Coal Co., have not fared as well.

Dec. 2014 image by author

Very few of the houses at the Stonecoal Junction section of Rhodell are still inhabited. They are the same style of coal camp house as found on the north end of town.

Dec. 2014 image by author

The last thing you will see as you leave town.

Feb. 2001 image by author

Train tunnel near Rhodell

Image courtesy of Perry Radford

Coal miners in Rhodell in 1959.

March 2010 image by author

A church that is still active in Rhodell.

January 2018 image by author

Probably an air shaft.

January 2018 image by author

A "castle" church.

The following photos were taken in Rhodell in 2020 by photographer David Dunlap. He was kind enough to share them with the world through this website. Click on each image for a high resolution version.

This commercial section of Rhodell looks like a bomb was dropped on it.

What's interesting about this coal camp house is the window shutters appear to be the original ones that the coal company installed many years ago.

I'd like to know what purpose this little structure with original asbestos roofing served. Coal company doctor's office?

The "castle church."