Coalton, West Virginia, located in Randolph County, is a former company town operated by the West Virginia Coal & Coke Company.
The community was founded on May 8, 1895, 2 as Womelsdorf, an Irish immigrant community. 1 It was named after the founder O.C. Womelsdorf of Pottsville, Pennsylvania. 3 Womelsdorf had hoped that the completion of the Rolling Creek & Charleston Railroad from Coalton south to Charleston would spark the town’s development. 4 The community was ultimately reached by the Roaring Creek & Belington Railroad.
After the richer Sewell coal seam was discovered in the New River Valley, activity in the Roaring Creek region began to decline. 5 For 1916, coal production at Coalton was 240,000 tons but declined sharply to just 22,000 tons by 1928. 5 Coalton’s population peaked at 833 in 1920 but subsequently declined to 373 by 1930.