Thayer was a big coal camp built in 1902 by the Ephriam Creek Coal and Coke Company. Their Buffalo-Slater mine was in the Fire Creek seam. In the 1960s many smaller companies, such as Pugh Mining and Branch Fuel Co., worked the Thayer mines. The theatre and bowling alleys are long gone, but there's still some of the camp left. It's located on the New River between Prince and Thurmond, and was one of the few coal towns in the New River Gorge that did not feature coke ovens.

Image courtesy of Walter Caldwell

Thayer as it was.

Apr. 2001 image by author

Downtown Thayer. The asphalt seen here is the only section of paved road in the town (or for about a four mile radius for that matter).

Nov. 2007 image by author

A better photo of these coal company houses.

Nov. 2007 image by author

Old coal camp house with a coal train going by in the background.

Apr. 2001 image by author

Another part of the coal camp further up the mountain.

Apr. 2001 image by author

About this structure Lisa writes, "This was my great-grandmother's house. She was the post-master (as taught by her mother) and she worked out of the downstairs of this home."

Apr. 2001 image by author

McKendree Road as it winds through Thayer.

National Park Service image

This sheave was part of the incline that brought the coal down the mountain from the Thayer (Ephriam) mines.

Image courtesy of Walter Caldwell

This company store that used to be at Thayer is gone now. The picture seems to have been taken from a train.

Debbie contributes this photo and writes, "This is the possible remains of the belt line as it went to the tipple."

This photo is also from Debbie. She says, "I believe this is the remains of the power house and machine shop for Thayer."

Another picture of the Thayer power house or machine shop.

Inside the ruins of the Thayer power house.

In a final photo from Debbie the initials for the Ephriam Creek Coal and Coke Company is inscribed in the cornerstone of the power house.

Danny writes, "I was raised as a kid at Thayer and Sandplant, and my grandfather was a night watchman for 45 years for C/O.He walked from Stonecliff to McKendree back and forth looking for slides. There's a lot of history on that part of the river and I would be glad to share it with you. That house in Thayer used to be the main post office for Thayer. It was owned by the Kaylors and one of the boys still lives there in an old bus, up from the house. I lived both at Thayer and Sandplant and went to school there at Thayer."