The story of a forgotten America.


Quinnimont, West Virginia is a nearly deserted coal camp along the New River.

Quinnimont, West Virginia was developed by the Quinnimont Charter Oak & Iron Company in 1870. 1 2 Chartered to produce pig iron in the New River Gorge, operations began as soon as construction of a blast furnace was completed. But investors soon soured on operations as it was discovered that it was cheaper to ship coal extracted from the New River to blast furnaces closer to steel mills. In 1873, the company was reorganized as the Quinnimont Charter Oak, Coal & Iron Company with an emphasis on coal extraction than pig iron production.

Shortly after, Joseph Beury came to Quinnimont and together with Samuel Coit and Samuel Day, started up the New River Coal Company to mine coal under a contract operation as they had no funds. 1 2 The first load of coal from his mine was shipped along the railroad in September 1873; it was the first to be shipped anywhere in the New River coalfield over the C&O. In 1876, Beury turned over the operation of the Quinnimont mine to Noah Jenkins and opened his own operation at Fire Creek.

By 1880, over 100 coke ovens were operating at Quinnimont, with another 20 under construction. 1 2 The coked coal brought in higher profit margins than bituminous coal. By the turn of the century, the community had grown to nearly 400 residents; the town boasted its own ice company, hotel, several churches, and three schools.

Quinnimont then became the center of local railroad operations when the C&O completed the Laurel Creek branch in 1904 to service mines along Laurel Creek and at Gentry. 1 The community began a slow decline in the 1920s as coal mines began to become exhausted. In 1944, the Beury heirs sold their holdings to the M.E. Crisp Lumber Company which began harvesting timber from the area until l953.



  1. Bragg, Melody. “Quinnimont.” Thurmond and Ghost Towns of the New River Gorge. Glen Jean, GEM Publications, 1995. pp. 82-84.
  2. Peters, J.T. and H.B. Carden. “Quinnimont – Five Mountains.” History of Fayette County, West Virginia. Charleston: Jarrett, 1926. pp. 544-547.

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