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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Lansing in Fayette County, West Virginia — The American South (Appalachia)
 

Smoke, Coke, Coal, and Kaymoor

New River Gorge

 
 
Smoke, Coke, Coal, and Kaymoor Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, August 4, 2012
1. Smoke, Coke, Coal, and Kaymoor Marker
Inscription.  In the early 1900’s, mines and mining towns lined New River Gorge. One such town, Kaymoor, stood in the distance where the river disappears from view. Kaymoor typified New River’s mining era.

For years New River Gorge’s rugged remoteness defied mining. Miners and material could not arrive, coal could not profitably leave. Railroads changed that. When the C&O mainline was completed through New River Gorge in 1873, New River coal suddenly became reachable.

Companies flocked here. One, the Low Moor Iron Company of Virginia, needing fuel for its furnaces, built Kaymoor in 1899. For 26 years Kaymoor coal, in a refined form called coke, fueled Low Moor’s furnaces.

In 1925, business misfortunes forced Low Moor to sell Kaymoor to huge Berwind-White Coal Mining Company. Thereafter, Kaymoor coal travelled the globe, much of it fueling U.S. Navy ships. Finally, with its once-rich coal seams depleted, Kaymoor closed for good in 1962.

(Inscription under the map on the bottom left)
Kaymoor was actually two mines and four towns. Kaymoor One stood above the riverbend in the distance; Kaymoor Two was to your right where today’s New

Inside the visitor center- Photo of the Kaymoor One Complex image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, August 4, 2012
2. Inside the visitor center- Photo of the Kaymoor One Complex
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River Bridge intersects the canyon slope. At each site, towns developed at the canyon top and bottom. Kaymoor One thrived and survived for 63 years. Kaymoor Two, much less productive, closed in 1926 after just 23 years of mining.

(Inscription under the image in the lower center)
Best surviving photo of Kaymoor in its heyday, circa 1920. The hazy air undoubtedly results from constant coke oven and train smoke. Coke oven rows are in lower right.

(Inscription under the image in the upper right)
Kaymoor One mining complex, 1947. Parts of these structures remain today.
 
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceRailroads & Streetcars. A significant historical year for this entry is 1873.
 
Location. 38° 4.194′ N, 81° 4.566′ W. Marker is in Lansing, West Virginia, in Fayette County. Marker is on Visitor Center Road. The marker is on the grounds of the Canyon Rim Visitor Center New River Gorge National River. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Lansing WV 25862, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Deceptive Forest (a few steps from this marker); New River (a few steps from this marker); New River Gorge Scenic Drives (a few steps from this marker); Welcome to New River Gorge National River

Inside the visitor center-Photo of the Kaymoor Mine image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, August 4, 2012
3. Inside the visitor center-Photo of the Kaymoor Mine
(within shouting distance of this marker); Trail to Bridge Overlook (within shouting distance of this marker); The Bridge (within shouting distance of this marker); New River Gorge Bridge (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named The Bridge (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lansing.
 
Inside the Visitor Center-Mining Tools image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, August 4, 2012
4. Inside the Visitor Center-Mining Tools
Inside the Visitor Center-Miner and his ropes image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, August 4, 2012
5. Inside the Visitor Center-Miner and his ropes
Sign at the entrance to the Canyon Rim Visitor Center New River Gorge National River image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, August 4, 2012
6. Sign at the entrance to the Canyon Rim Visitor Center New River Gorge National River
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 14, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 26, 2016, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 207 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on November 26, 2016, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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May. 6, 2021