The West Virginia. Cyclopedia

Category:Towns of the Loup Creek and White Oak Coal Fields

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Most of the towns of the Loup Creek and White Oak coal fields of Fayette and Raleigh counties developed as mining towns during the late 1800s and early 1900s as railroad lines began to be built in the yet undeveloped coal lands of the New River Coal Field along Dunloup Creek and White Oak Creek.

At the end of 1893, the Loup Creek Branch of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway (C&O) was completed from the C&O's mainline at Thurmond to Macdonald, in Fayette County, a distance of about 10 miles. By 1895, six mines had opened along the line, at Harvey, Redstar, Glen Jean, Dunloup, Turkey Knob, and Macdonald. The combined out of these mines was about 100 cars of coal per day, a large number for that era. At times the C&O experienced keeping up with the traffic coming off the Loup Creek Branch to Thurmond.

In 1900, a branch line was completed along White Oak Creek between the C&O's line at Glen Jean to Carlisle, permitting the opening of mines at Wingrove, Scarbro, Whipple, and Carlisle. By 1905 the White Oak Railway had completed a rail line from Carlisle through Oak Hill to new mining operations at Stuart and Parral. Within a few years the White Oak Railway had made connection with the Virginian Railway at Oak Hill Junction.

In 1900, the Kanawha, Glen Jean & Eastern Railway (KGJ&E) built a short siding from a new mine at Derryhale to Macdonald, and by 1903 the railroad had extended its line to a new mine at Kilysth and extended the Derryhale siding to Glen Jean. By 1907, the KGJ&E had built a line along Dunloup Creek from Kilsyth to a mine at Tamroy, in Raleigh County.

By 1910, both the White Oak Railway and the KGJ&E had built rail lines that connected with the Virginian Railway, at Bishop and Pax, respectfully. The White Oak had built a short branch line between Macdonald and Price Hill and several more mines had opened along the Loup Creek Branch. The area boomed. Population of the plateau region of Fayette County grew from 4,116 in 1890 to 9,889 in 1900, to 20,605 in 1910. The towns of Mount Hope, Glen Jean, and Oak Hill began to develop as the region's major trading centers.


Map: Towns of the Loup Creek & White Oak Coal Fields

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