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South Nuttall (historical)

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Suspension bridge across New River that connected the towns of Nuttallburg and South Nuttall
Young mule driver at Brown, circa 1912
Brown, circa 1906
1901 C&O track diagram showing Brown Coal Co.
Miners of Brown, circa 1906
1913 USGS map showing South Nuttall
Monitor car used on incline at Brown Coal Co.
Photo of Brown, ca. 1919, showing town and suspension bridge that connected Nuttallburg and Brown
Photo of the tipple of the Brown Coal Co., circa 1919

Located on the south side of New River, opposite Nuttallburg, little evidence of South Nuttall remains apart from the impressive cut-stone piers of a suspension bridge which once linked the two communities. South Nuttall was formerly known as Brown, after the name of the mine located there (see 1901 map at right.) Circa 1906, the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway (C&O) station at this location was also named "Brown" during the early 1900s, then later changed to South Nuttall.

Despite the claims of many local residences and even some historians that "South Nuttall was once known as Browns," it is well documented fact that the correct name of the mine, the mining community and the C&O station was "Brown" not "Browns." This error is apparently due to the fact that many locals tend to add an "S" to the names of places and businesses, a tradition still practiced today. It's quite common to hear the local Walmart store being called "Walmarts" by some local residents, and to hear some folks pronouncing Fayetteville as "Fayette's Ville."

The community of Brown was developed by the Brown Coal Company. The company was organized in 1894 by John A. Boone and associates. Mr. Boone came to the New River coal field in 1881 and had worked during those early years for Joe Buery at the Caperton mining operation. Three persons with the last name of Brown were among the original incorporators of the company and Percy H. Brown was the superintendent of the Brown mining operation in 1898, all of which seem is suggest that the mine may have been name in honor the Brown family or one of its members.

A 1906 C&O publication lists the Brown Coal Company as operating one mine at a station named Brown. An advertisement in the publication list the mine as having a capacity of 600 tons per day, and noted the company had a coal lease on 1,000 acres of land and operated a tipple and company store. Officials of the company were listed as follows: Jas. D. Boone, Pres.; Wm. F. Boone, VP; Eli J. Talyor, Sect.; and J. A. Boone, Gen. Mgr. and Treasurer. A 1911 Fayette County publication cited the same company as operating the Brown mine and listed the post office address as Nuttallburg, W.Va.

State mine records indicate the Brown Coal Co. operated the Brown mine from 1896-1920. A 1921 list of coal mines in West Virginia listed the Stover Coal Company as operating the Brown mine, with a post office address at Nuttallburg. During the year ending June 30, 1923, the Stover Coal Company operated the Brown mine, a drift opening in the Sewell seam with thickness of 3'8". That year, the company employed 71 men who worked 134 days. The operation used used pick and machine mining. Five mining machines, five locomotives and four mules used to extract and move the coal. R. E. Brown was superintendent, with Richard Martin and D. W. Statts as mine foremen. State mine records indicate the Stove Coal Co. operated the Brown mine during 1920-1927. West Virginia mining records suggest that the Eli Smokeless Coal Co. operated the Brown mine from 1929-1941, however a more in-depth review of state mining records is needed in this regard.

Variant Names for South Nuttall, WV

Brown

Map

View a larger version of this map.


Scale drawings of the Nuttallburg Suspension Bridge that connected the towns of Nuttallburg and South Nuttall

Scale drawings of the Nuttallburg Suspension Bridge that connected Nuttallburg and South Nuttall

Additional Sources of Information

The following article about the Brown Coal Company's mining operation at Brown is from The Black Diamond, Vol. 62 and can be read and downloaded (PDF) at Google Books.


Rafter's Reference: any ruins of the community of South Nuttall remaining would be located on river-left, just downstream of Dudley's Dip Rapids. Two pyramidal bridge piers approximate the former center of the community.