Thomas in Tucker County, West Virginia — The American South (Appalachia)
Headquarters for Coal Mine Planning, Payroll and Railroad Operations Management
Underground coal mining is dangerous and labor-intensive. Mine tunnels required careful engineering, and the Davis Coal and Coke Company built this Engineering Building to enable planning for efficient operations and good record-keeping. A chemical laboratory located next door (center, below) performed testing of coal samples.
The mine payroll staff operated from the first floor of the Engineering Building. Employees received their pay at a window inside. Railroad clerks tracked company store inventory, equipment, and items arriving and departing by rail.
After the mines closed, the Western Maryland Railway and its successor company, Chessie System Railroads, used this building to manage local railroad operations and business transactions until the mid-1980s. Paul Dumire of Thomas was its last employee; he is shown here at his desk on the second story.
The background images here show documents found in the Engineering Office. Each was a page in a ledger. Clockwise from upper left, they include a record of employees' company store payments, a wages and deductions transaction
The portraits below right show Davis Coal and Coke Company office employees.
The view at right shows the Engineering Office under construction. In the main image above, women and children, likely mine and railroad employees' families or school groups, line up at the Buxton and Landstreet store with the Engineering Office and laboratory behind them.
Erected by Tucker County Historical Society; West Virginia Division of History and Culture; and Friends of Blackwater.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Railroads & Streetcars.
Location. 39° 8.521′ N, 79° 30.389′ W. Marker is in Thomas, West Virginia, in Tucker County. Marker is at the intersection of Douglas Road (County Road 27) and Dobbins Road (County Road 27/5), on the left when traveling west on Douglas Road. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 571 Douglas Rd, Thomas WV 26292, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Coketon Colored School (here, next to this marker); The Company Store (a few steps from this marker); Thomas Underground (approx. 0.6 miles away); "All that Humanity Could Desire…" (approx. 0.6 miles away); Historic Thomas and the Coketon Industrial Complex / News Flash!Exploring the Coketon Industrial Site / West Virginia Coal (approx. 0.6 miles away); Thomas, Yesterday and Today (approx. 0.6 miles away); The Story of a River / Life in a Coal Mining Town (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Thomas.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 18, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 18, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 52 times since then and 9 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on July 18, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.