The West Virginia. Cyclopedia

Beechwood, West Virginia

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1886 map showing Beechwood

Beechwood was one of the earliest coal operations opened in the New River Gorge. The Beechwood Coal and Coke Company was incorporated on July 27, 1886, by Charles C. Beury, Isaac W. Rowe, John D. Campbell, E. W. Bridge, and Joseph L. Beury. The company's main office address was listed as Beechwood. The company had leases on two tracts of land embracing 1,400 acres. Two separate mines were opened in the Fire Creek seam (also known as the Quinnimont seam), averaging 3-1/2 feet thick. Coal was brought down an 1,700 foot long incline from the mine openings to a the tipple located along the C&O Railway mainline.The Beechwood mine apparently did not begin production until 1887. The company originally planned to build a plant of 100 coke ovens.[1]

Tipple of the Beechwood mine, ca. 1906
A 1906 C&O publication [2] listed the Beechwood Coal and Coke Company as operating two mines, Beechwood Nos. 1 and 2, with 30 coke ovens in operation. The No. 1 mine had a capacity of 650 tons of coal per day; the No. 2 mine had a daily capacity of 450 tons. The company's post office address was Claremont.

At left, circa 1906 photo from the C&O Railway's Shippers Guide showing the Beechwood tipple and part of the incline and battery of beehive coke ovens.

Tipple of the Beechwood mine, ca. 1919
Another view of the Beechwood tipple showing how it looked in about 1919.

Rafter's Reference: Remnants of Beechwood, if any, would be located on river right about a mile downstream of Silo Rapids.


[1] Coal and Coal Trade Journal, Volume 26 (Google Books)

[2] Official Industrial Guide and Shippers' Directory by the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway (Google Books)