The West Virginia. Cyclopedia

Pennbrook (historical)

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USGS 1913 map showing Pennbrook

The mine here was called "Kohinoor." Rand, McNally & Co. reported the population at Pennbrook as 71 in 1910. The community was located on the north side of New River just downstream of Fire Creek.

West Virginia state mine records indicate the Kohinoor mine was operated by the Penn. & New River Coal Co. from 1906-1908 and by the Fire Creek Coal & Coke in 1910-1911. The mine was a drift mine working the Fire Creek seam, of about 3'6" thickness. In 1908 the mine had 51 workers.

The Annual Report for the year ending June 30, 1904 indicated that the mining operation at Pennbrook was under construction and that a branch line was being built to connect with the C&O mainline at East Sewell to the site a tipple under construction. The 1905 annual report indicated the Kohinoor mine had just began shipping coal. The 1906 report indicated the Pennsylvania and New River Coal Company installed an electrical power plant at the Kohinoor operation. The 1908 report stated that the mine was relocating its incline "as the present one was very expensive to operate and the longest in the state." The 1910 report noted that the company's "3300 foot incline has been abandoned for an 1800 foot one with a tram-road from the drum-house to the mine." The 1911 report stated that the Kohinoor lease had been abandoned by the coal company during the latter part of April, and that no work was being done by years end.

A 1911 Fayette County publication listed the Kohinoor mine as being operated by the Fire Creek Collieries Co., with a post office address in Fire Creek. The West Virginia Geological Survey for Fayette County (pub. 1919) indicated the "Pennbrook Mine" had been abandoned for "5 or 6 years, reported to be pinched out by rock." Thayer & Butler were listed as owners of the mine.

Rafter's Reference: Ruins at Pennbrook, if any, will be located on river-right around the mouth of Ephriam Creek, upstream of the broad, river-right bottom leading to Surprise Rapids.