- Logan Coalfield
The Logan Coalfield is located in
Logan County, WVand Wyoming County, WV. It has been a tremendous source of high quality, high volatile bituminous coalsince the field was opened by the Chesapeake & Ohio Railwayin 1905. Later the Virginian Railwaybuilt the "Gilbert Extension" which allowed the shipment of coal from western Wyoming County. Both steam coal and metallurgical coal have been extracted from such seams as the Cedar Grove, Eagle, Alma, and Winifrede.
This coalfield is somewhat infamous for a couple of reasons. The sherrif of Logan County in the 1920s, Don Chafin, was allegedly paid handsomely by the coal companies to keep the
United Mine Workersunion out of Logan County, and he and his deputies brutally performed this task in such a thorough manner that the union could gain no foothold at all. In 1921 a "coal miners' army" pitched a battle with Chafin and his "army" of deputies and mine guards at the Battle of Blair Mountain, a skirmish in which it could be said that the miners lost.
Another cause for infamy in the Logan Coalfield was the
Buffalo Creek Flood, when a Pittston Coal Company coal refuse dam burst in 1972. It resulted in the death of 125 people, the destruction of about a dozen towns, and is one of the worst coal mining-related disasters in American history.
Coal is still mined in the Logan Coalfield, but the days when it was the number one or number two producing coalfield in
West Virginiaare probably gone for good.
Logan, West Virginia
* [http://www.coalcampusa.com/sowv/logan/logan.htm Coalfields of the Appalachian Mountains - Logan Field]
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