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

Coal Camp History

Coal Camp History Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, August 11, 2010
1. Coal Camp History Marker
Inscription. With railroads came thousands of workers looking to make a new life in the coalfields. In the late 1800ís and well into the mid-1900ís, many Appalachian miners lived in company towns called “Coal Camps”.

Mine operators built company-owned towns along railroad lines to support the huge numbers of workers arriving daily. A large percentage of the coal minerís wages was returned to the coal company in exchange for housing, tools, food and other basic expenses. These towns generally consisted of minersí homes, a school, church, post office, and company store. These simple homes were uniform in design and, depending on the company, sometimes all painted the same color throughout the town!

Life in these camps was dependent on the coal seamís production, and in the early 30ís an estimated 465 company towns existed in West Virginia. Over 90 percent of all miners lived in these company-owned camps. Here miners enjoyed many modern amenities unheard of before coalís discovery including electric power, public libraries, schools, doctors and dentists.

Another important place in the coal camp community was the baseball diamond. Games were played on Sunday, which was the only day in the week that the coal miners did not work.

In 1930, Kingston coal camp had a population of over 1200 people,
Mossy Kiosk image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, August 11, 2010
2. Mossy Kiosk
with a variety of ethnicities including people from Canada, Lithuania, Argentina, Russia, Austria, Scotland, Cuba, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Greece, Poland, Romania, Italy and Mexico. The Westerly coal camp had a population of over 660 including full-blooded Cherokees, African Americans and immigrants from many nationalities. Most of these once populated and flourishing coal camps have disappeared from the landscape with little remaining evidence of their existence.

The Paint Creek Scenic Trail is included within the National Coal Heritage Area.
Erected by Paint Creek Scenic Trail.
Location. 37° 58.533′ N, 81° 17.008′ W. Marker is in Mossy, West Virginia, in Fayette County. Marker is at the intersection of Bishop Ranch (West Virginia Route 612) and Milburn Road (County Route 1/5) when traveling east on Bishop Ranch. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Scarbro WV 25917, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 12 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Mossy (here, next to this marker); The Rebirth of Paint Creek (a few steps from this marker); Oakwood Mine Complex (approx. 5.1 miles away); Glen Jean Athletic Club (approx. 7.7 miles away); Indirect Firing (approx. 10.2 miles away); Vandalia Cemetery (approx. 11 miles away); Thurmondís Decline (approx. 11.1 miles away); The Heart of Town (approx. 11.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Mossy.
More about this marker. The period photos around the border of the panel include: “Kingston coal miners”, “Coal tipple at Milburn”, “Westerly coal camp”, “Kingston 1920 – Notice the cars, and the cow and man walking”, “Horse drawn wagons in a coal camp”, “Coal tipple at Kingston”, and
“Kingston company store and YMCA”.
Also see . . .  Paint Creek Scenic Trail. (Submitted on August 15, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
Categories. Industry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 15, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,402 times since then and 34 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 15, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.
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