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The inscription below the block of coal reads, "New River Sewell Seam -- Weather and Age Test  -- Erected Oct. 1932."  
One important fact to keep in mind -- the term "New River Sewell Coal" referred to coal of Sewell seam from the New River Coal Field and/or coal of the New River (coal) "series", not just to coal mined by The New River Company. Circa 1906, there were over 100 coal mines shipping coal via the C&O Railway from the Sewell seam.The photo was a publicity photo from the New River Coal Operators Association, which was made up of coal operators throughout the New River Coal Fields.
The inscription below the block of coal reads, "New River Sewell Seam -- Weather and Age Test -- Erected Oct. 1932."


One important fact to keep in mind -- the term "New River Sewell Coal" referred to coal of Sewell seam from the New River Coal Field and/or coal of the New River (coal) "series", not just to coal mined by The New River Company. Circa 1906, there were over 100 coal mines shipping coal via the C&O Railway from the Sewell seam.

The photo was a publicity photo from the New River Coal Operators Association, which was made up of coal operators throughout the New River Coal Fields.


Block of the once-famous New River Smokeless Coal exposed (to the elements) to demonstrate its resistance to weathering.After more than 75 years of exposure to the elements of nature the "weather and age test" seems to be going rather well... Unfortunately, the inscription disappeared, and its meaning largely forgotten. Sometime soon, this block of coal will get "preservation threatment".
Ironicly, the block of Sewell coal, exposed (to the elements) to demonstrate its resistance to weathering, will be soon be "protected" from the elements.
Block of the once-famous New River Smokeless Coal exposed (to the elements) to demonstrate its resistance to weathering.

After more than 75 years of exposure to the elements of nature the "weather and age test" seems to be going rather well...

Unfortunately, the inscription disappeared, and its meaning largely forgotten. Sometime soon, this block of coal will get "preservation threatment".


Ironicly, the block of Sewell coal, exposed (to the elements) to demonstrate its resistance to weathering, will be soon be "protected" from the elements.


Water fountain and coal-exposure monument on the Main Street, Mount Hope. Photo circa-1990s.In the days of "hand fired" burning of coal over open grates "lump" coal was highly desirable vs. fine, powdery coal that would quickly fall through the grates and be wasted. Coal that retained its (lump) form while in transport and storage, and exposed to the elements (esp. winterly weather) was very marketable.
Water fountain and coal-exposure monument on the Main Street, Mount Hope. Photo circa-1990s.

In the days of "hand fired" burning of coal over open grates "lump" coal was highly desirable vs. fine, powdery coal that would quickly fall through the grates and be wasted. Coal that retained its (lump) form while in transport and storage, and exposed to the elements (esp. winterly weather) was very marketable.


For decades, English Ivy planted on the hillside above the coal seam kept erosion to a minimum. Unfortunately, after the city began cutting the hillside back to bare rock and dirt, the erosion of the hillside above the portal was hastened. Photo, circa 1932.
One could speculate that the stone used on the portal is Lower Guyandot Sandstone, perhaps taken from a quarry at Turkey Knob.
For decades, English Ivy planted on the hillside above the coal seam kept erosion to a minimum. Unfortunately, after the city began cutting the hillside back to bare rock and dirt, the erosion of the hillside above the portal was hastened. Photo, circa 1932.


One could speculate that the stone used on the portal is Lower Guyandot Sandstone, perhaps taken from a quarry at Turkey Knob.


Arched exposure of the Sewell seam of the New River Smokeless Coal along Main Street, Mount Hope. The phrase "New River Smokeless Coal" written on the portal is not the name of the coal company that built the portal. "New River Smokeless Coal" referred to coal mined in the New River Coalfield and/or coal from the New River (coal) "group," of the Pottsville series...
There was a New River Smokeless Coal Co. that once operated several mines in the New River Gorge during 1905-1908, which included the mines at Rush Run, Cunard, Brooklyn, and Red Ash. However, all of these mines were located several miles from Mt. Hope.
Arched exposure of the Sewell seam of the New River Smokeless Coal along Main Street, Mount Hope.

The phrase "New River Smokeless Coal" written on the portal is not the name of the coal company that built the portal. "New River Smokeless Coal" referred to coal mined in the New River Coalfield and/or coal from the New River (coal) "group," of the Pottsville series...


There was a New River Smokeless Coal Co. that once operated several mines in the New River Gorge during 1905-1908, which included the mines at Rush Run, Cunard, Brooklyn, and Red Ash. However, all of these mines were located several miles from Mt. Hope.


Some local people seem to believe that this New River Company built the "coal monument" into the hillside.  If this were true, it would be "interesting," especially when one considers the fact that the New River Company didn't own the coal in the hillside at the time the "monument" was erected.
A 1911 map of coal lands in Fayette County reveals that the mineral rights to this particular hillside was owned by the "McKell Heirs".  The McKell Coal & Coke Company mined this section of Mt. Hope as part of its Siltix (also spelled Siltex) and North Kilsyth mining operations, from 1925 through 1939. The New River Co. acquired the mineral rights to the McKell coal lands in 1940, some eight years after the coal monuments were erected.
Some local people seem to believe that this New River Company built the "coal monument" into the hillside. If this were true, it would be "interesting," especially when one considers the fact that the New River Company didn't own the coal in the hillside at the time the "monument" was erected.


A 1911 map of coal lands in Fayette County reveals that the mineral rights to this particular hillside was owned by the "McKell Heirs". The McKell Coal & Coke Company mined this section of Mt. Hope as part of its Siltix (also spelled Siltex) and North Kilsyth mining operations, from 1925 through 1939. The New River Co. acquired the mineral rights to the McKell coal lands in 1940, some eight years after the coal monuments were erected.


If you looked at this area just over from the "coal monuments" you'd probably get the impression this nice flat area was the "park area" built when the monuments were erected. If so, you'd be wrong.  This nice flat terrace was actually a rail-bed for the railroad line running on the north bank of Dunloup Creek between MacDonald and Price Hill.
If you looked at this area just over from the "coal monuments" you'd probably get the impression this nice flat area was the "park area" built when the monuments were erected. If so, you'd be wrong. This nice flat terrace was actually a rail-bed for the railroad line running on the north bank of Dunloup Creek between MacDonald and Price Hill.


You can follow the route the railroad branch traveled -- running through the terraced area where the houses are now (in distant center) to the level of the roadway (right, foreground.)
This line was built circa 1900 as the Price Hill Railroad, but soon afterwards became part of the White Oak Railway. The line was  originally built to serve the coal mine at Prince Hill, but the North Kilsyth and the Fayral mines also were in operation along the line in the 1920's-1930's.
You can follow the route the railroad branch traveled -- running through the terraced area where the houses are now (in distant center) to the level of the roadway (right, foreground.)


This line was built circa 1900 as the Price Hill Railroad, but soon afterwards became part of the White Oak Railway. The line was originally built to serve the coal mine at Prince Hill, but the North Kilsyth and the Fayral mines also were in operation along the line in the 1920's-1930's.


The 1929 USGS map shows the route of the rail line. The Chesapeake & Ohio Railway  (C&O) took over the line early in 1917, but this rail line was in operation until at less the early-1940s, some years after the "monuments" were built.
Soon after the C&O acquired the KGJ&E Railway (then owned by Wm. McKell's heirs) in 1940, the right of way was abandoned and the tracks were taken up through this section of town.
The 1929 USGS map shows the route of the rail line. The Chesapeake & Ohio Railway (C&O) took over the line early in 1917, but this rail line was in operation until at less the early-1940s, some years after the "monuments" were built.


Soon after the C&O acquired the KGJ&E Railway (then owned by Wm. McKell's heirs) in 1940, the right of way was abandoned and the tracks were taken up through this section of town.


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