Coalton, West Virginia, located in Randolph County, is a former company town operated by the West Virginia Coal & Coke Company. The town, however, was founded much earlier on May 8, 1895 2 as Womelsdorf, an Irish immigrant community,1 named after 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 seam was discovered in the New River valley, coal activity in the Roaring Creek region dwindled.5 For 1916, coal production at Coalton was 240,000 tons which declined sharply after 1921 to just 22,000 tons by 1928.5 The population, which was 833 in 1920, subsequently dropped to 373 in 1930.