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Gaymont, West Virginia

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1901 C&O track diagram showing tipple, company store and coke ovens at Gaymont
The 1913 USGS map, surveyed 1911,did not show a mine at Gaymont

One of the earliest mining operations in the New River Gorge, Gaymont was located between Mile Post 407 and 408 on the mainline of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway (C&O), about one mile east (upstream) of Hawks Nest and about four miles west of Nuttallburg. The mine worked the Sewell seam which was located about 300 feet above the elevation of the C&O Railway's mainline through the New River Gorge [1].

The Gaymont operation changed ownership several times during the years the mine operated . A mine was in operation at Gaymont as early as 1878 known as the "Louisa mine." In 1879, the mine was operated by Holt and Snyder [1]. By 1880, the mine was being operated by Byrne, Snyder and Holt, but by summer of that year the mine was under the management of the Gaymont Coal Company. A list of mines operating in 1885 listed J. Peiring as the operator of the mine.

The mine inspectors' report for the year ending June 30, 1901 reported that the mine was working the Sewell seam, of 2'8" to 3' in thickness. The mine opening was located 295 above the level of the railroad. An 800 foot long incline connected the mine with the tipple located along the railroad. Two wooden monitors, having a capacity of 3 1/2 tons, were used to haul the coal on the incline.

West Virginia mining records(1) indicate the Gaymont mile was operated by Deitz & Masterson Coal & Coke Co. during 1884-1900; D. S. Cook & Sons Coal & Coke Co. in 1901; New Castle Coal Co. during 1902-1906; Gaymont Colliery Co. from 1907-1911; Gaymont Coal Co. from 1915-1917; and Gaymont Coal & Coke Co. from 1920-1922.

A circa-1896 report of mining operations from the Third Mining District of West Virginia lists Deitz, Masterson and Co. as operating the Gaymont mine, a drift mine working the Sewell seam, with thickness of 3 feet. The company was operating on a lease on the lands of Holt, Snyder and Mathews. The colliery employed 67 workers and had 20 beehive coke ovens in operation. The company's post office address was Ansted, WV. T. A. Deitz was superintendent and J. W. Masterson was mine boss. A map of coal lease lands from the same era listed the company's name a bit differently, showing it as "Deitz & Masterson Coal & Coke Co." The May 18, 1887 edition of Coal and Coal Trade Journal stated that Gaymont had 30 coke ovens in operation.[3]

1906 Gaymont Colliery Co. advertisement


A 1906 C&O publication [3} listed the Newcastle Coal Company as operating a mine at Gaymont, with 125 coke ovens in operation (which was mostly a typographical error, with 25 coke ovens probably being the correct number.) The C&O publication also noted that the company's post office address at Hawks Nest. However, in the same publication a display advertisement for the Gaymont Colliery Company (shown at left) was included that noted "this plant is located one mile west of the operation belonging to the Sunberry Coal & Coke Company of Sunnyside, West Virginia," which would be the location of the Gaymont coal operation. The advertisement also stated that the mining company operated on 1,200 acres of land, mining from the Sewell seam, and had 32 houses for workers, a company store, and a mine capacity of 500 tons per day, and listed the company's officials as: Thomas C. Beury, Pres.; E. A. Reid, Vice Pres.; G. T. Thayer, Sect.; F. K. Homested, Tres.; and John P. Vaughan, Mgr. The Gaymont Colliery Company was organized April 21, 1906.[4] West Virginia mining records indicated that in 1910 Gaymont Colliery reported that none of its 36 coke ovens were in operation.[5]

A 1921 list of mines in West Virginia listed the Gaymont Coal & Coke Company as operating the Gaymont Nos. 1 & 2 mines, with a post office address at Hawks Nest. The Coal Catalog of 1920 noted that the Gaymont mine used mules for haulage and mining was done by hand and that the mine purchased its power. Daily output of the mine was 50 tons which produced only run-of-mine coal.[6]


Sources

[1] Transactions of the American Institute of Mining Engineers Vol. 8 (1879-1880) via Google Books
[2] Coal and Coal Trade Journal (1887) via Google Books
[3] Chesapeake & Ohio Railway: Official Industrial Guide and Shippers' Directory (1906) via Google Books
[4] Corporation Report of Secretary of State... via Google Books
[5] Annual Report of the Dept. of Mines for the Year Ending June 30th, 1910 via Google Books
[6] The Coal Catalog Combined with the Coal Field Directory for the Year 1920 via Google Books