Smoke, Coke, Coal, and Kaymoor
New River Gorge
For years New River Gorgeís 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 Moorís 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 todayís New 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
(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 US Department of Interior.
Location. 38° 4.194′ N, 81° 4.566′ W. Marker is in Lansing, West Virginia, in Fayette County. Marker is on Visitor Center Road. Touch for map. The marker is on the grounds of the Canyon Rim Visitor Center New River Gorge National River. Marker is in this post office area: Lansing WV 25862, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. 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); New River Gorge National River (within shouting distance of this marker); Trail to Bridge Overlook (within shouting distance of this marker); The Bridge
Categories. • Industry & Commerce • Railroads & Streetcars •
Credits. This page was last revised on November 28, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 26, 2016, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 127 times since then and 30 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.