The West Virginia. Cyclopedia

Kilsyth, West Virginia

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Kilsyth Tipple, McKell Coal & Coke Co.
Another view of the Kilsyth Tipple
Tipple, power house, engine house, and some of the company houses at Kilsyth, WV, ca. 1906
Tipple, power house, and company store of Kilsyth operation, ca. 1906
Map showing location of central power station, fans, and sub-stations

Killsyth was developed as a company owned mining town during the early-1900s by the McKell Coal & Coke Company, a company established in 1895 by Thomas G. McKell. Kilsyth was incorporated as a town in 1903 but has since become an incorporated community. The mining operation at Kilsyth first opened in 1901, making use of a temporary tipple. Coal was hauled from the mine by the Kanawha, Glen Jean & Eastern Railway (KGJ&E), a short-line railroad established by T.G. McKell in 1895, which in 1901 had made connection with the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway (C&O) at Macdonald. During 1901, a company store, about 40 homes for miners, and stables were erected at Kilsyth. The town's population grew from 197 in 1910 to 730 in 1920.

At Kilsyth, the company constructed a well equipped central power station that generated for the Kilsyth, Graham, Tamroy, and Oswald mines. Circa 1919, the installation included a battery of eight return tubular boilers and two generating units developing 6,600 volts AC. In order to provide an adequate supply of pure water for the boilers, the McKell Coal & Coke Company's engineers constructed a dam of reinforced concrete thirty feet in height that impounded 20,000,000 gallons of water in the mountains two miles from the central power station. This water was carried to the plant in a six inch cast iron water pipe. In addition to serving the battery of eight boilers, this water source was available for domestic purposes for the town of Mount Hope when there is a surplus, while it served the company's mining towns at all times.

Map of Kilsyth and Vicinity

View a larger version of this map

Power house at Kilsyth, ca. 1907
Another view of the power house
USGS map of the Kilsyth area, 1911