The West Virginia. Cyclopedia
Located on the south side of New River, the mine at Whitney were likely opened at the time the C&O's south side mainline was completed to MacDougal in about 1905-1906.
A 1906 C&O publication listed the Cataract Colliery Company as operating a mine at a station named Whitney, with Kanawha Falls serving as the post office address for the company's offices, with Elmo the P.O. for the mine, listing the company officials as: J. M. Clark, Pres. and C. E. Krebs, Sect./Treasurer. The mine's daily capacity was listed as 300 tons.
Another mine, known as the Marr Branch mine, was opened a short distance east (upstream) of the Whitney mine in about 1907. A list of coal mines in West Virginia during the year ending June 30, 1907 listed the Mrrs Branch mine as a drift mine operated by the Marrs Branch Coal Company with a post office address at Fayette.
Another mine, known as the Cataract mine, operated in the Whitney vicinity in the 1920s. West Virginia mining records (1) indicate Whitney mine was operated by Cataract Colliery Company in 1905-1906; Marr Branch Coal Co. during 1908-1910 -- the Marr Branch mine by Branch Coal Co. during 1907 -- the Cataract No. 1 mine by Cataract Smokeless Coal Co. during 1923-1926.
Rand McNally & Co. estimated the population of Whitney in 1910 as 87. Mining activity at Whitney apparently ceased for a brief period of time around 1910. A Fayette Company publication of 1911 that listed all the mines of the county did not include mention of a mine at Whitney, and the USGS map of 1913, surveyed 1911, did not designate a mine in the vicinity. However the map does show two rows of houses at Whitney.
However in 1923, the Cataract Smokeless Coal Company was operating the Cataract No. 1 mine, a drift opening in the Sewell seam with a thickness of 3 ft. 6 in. The company employed 44 workers who worked 17 days. Only machine mining was done, with two locomotives and 4 mules used to move the coal. J. W. Garvey was superintendent, and H. E. Turner was mine foreman.
Rafter's Reference: Whitney was located on river-right, well-downstream of Old Nasty Rapids.
(1) West Virginia Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training, mine data tonnage reports