Beckley in Raleigh County, West Virginia — The American South (Appalachia)
The donated locomotive was built by Vulcan Iron Works at Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, in July 1910, construction #1596. In 1940, it came to West Virginia as one of three coal-burning dinkies purchased by Winding Gulf Coal Company. They were used to haul coal from the mouth of a drift mine in Crab Orchard, across State Route 16 from behind what is now Webb's Florist, 7,000 feet downhill to the company's tipple on Piney Creek. Then the coal was loaded into Chesapeake and Ohio Railway coal cars and hauled to market.
The dinkies were retired ca. 1952 when Winding Gulf Coal switched to electric locomotives, which were more efficient because they could be loaded inside the mine and travel all the way to the Piney Creek tipple. Electric locomotives could also haul over 50 loads of coal, compared to a maximum
Winding Gulf Coal Company No.1 was given to the City in October 1962 and moved to the Raleigh County Vocation and Technical Center where it was repaired and repainted by students over the winter. Then, in June 1963, it was featured in Beckley's Centennial parade as the "Fast Flying West Virginian."
The following week, the dinky was mounted near the swimming pool in New River Park, where it remained for 53 years. Newly appointed Director of Parks and Recreation, Leslie Gray Baker, believed relocation nearer the Exhibition Coal Mine was highly desirable. On July 14, 2015, Beckley Common Council approved a bid from Beckley Crane and Construction. The company removed the locomotive in early September, restored it, and remounted it at the entrance to the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine on May 4, 2016.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Railroads & Streetcars.
Location. 37° 47.086′ N, 81° 11.789′ W. Marker is in Beckley, West Virginia, in Raleigh County. Located at the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 513 Ewart Avenue, Beckley WV 25801, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Raleigh County Coal Mines (a few steps from this marker); Bachelor’s Shanty (within shouting distance of this marker); Superintendent's House (about Flame Of Freedom (approx. 0.6 miles away); Dedicated (approx. 0.6 miles away); Citizens Hall Of Fame (approx. 0.6 miles away); Raleigh County World War II Memorial (approx. 0.6 miles away); Beckley (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Beckley.
Credits. This page was last revised on November 30, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 30, 2020, by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 30 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on November 30, 2020, by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.