World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Coalwood, West Virginia

Article Id: WHEBN0000611162
Reproduction Date:

Title: Coalwood, West Virginia  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: McDowell County, West Virginia, National Register of Historic Places listings in McDowell County, West Virginia, Pocahontas Coalfield, Roy Lee Cooke, Rocket Boys
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Coalwood, West Virginia

Coalwood, West Virginia
Unincorporated community
Coalwood, West Virginia is located in West Virginia
Location of Coalwood, West Virginia
Country United States
State West Virginia
County McDowell
Founded[1] 1905
Elevation[2] 1,450 ft (442 m)
Population (1990)
 • Total 900
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 24824
Area code(s) 304
GNIS feature ID 1554166

Coalwood is an unincorporated community coal town in McDowell County, West Virginia, USA. The coal mine in Coalwood reached its peak in the 1960s and finally shut down production on October 1, 1982. As of the 1990 Census - the last time the town was counted separately - , the population was 900. The town is the setting of the best-selling memoir Rocket Boys by Homer Hickam and the movie October Sky based on the book.[3]

Olga Coal Company Coal scrip formerly used in Coalwood


  • History 1
  • October Sky Festival 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


Coalwood was founded by

  • Coalwood, West Virginia
  • Coalwood, West Virginia at Abandoned
  • Coalwood, West Virginia at Coal Camp USA
  • Coalwood Memories
  • Homer Hickam Online

External links

  1. ^ a b c d "Coalwood History Timeline". Archived from the original on 2008-12-19. Retrieved 2008-12-19. 
  2. ^ "Coalwood".  
  3. ^ Hickam, Jr., Homer (1998). Rocket Boys. Delacorte Press.  
  4. ^  
  5. ^ a b c McGehee, Stuart (Summer 2001). "Historic Coalwood". Goldenseal. Archived from the original on 2008-12-19. Retrieved 2008-12-19. 
  6. ^ 2007 October Sky Festival
  7. ^ October Sky Festival


Flood damage in 2002
Carter Coal Company Store in 2007

Once a year, in October, Coalwood hosted an October Sky festival in honor of the accomplishments of the Rocket Boys. Many scientists and astronauts attended and Homer Hickam always made an appearance. The 2007 festival also represented the 50th anniversary of Sputnik, the first artificial satellite to go into orbit around the earth. Commemorating both events, an actor from the movie October Sky, Scott Miles, attended the festival to sign autographs.[6] On February 7, 2012, the Cape Coalwood Restoration Association announced that the October 2011 festival, the 13th October Sky Festival, had been the last October Sky Festival. After the cancellation of the Rocket Boys/October Sky Festival was announced in February this year, Hickam was approached by a group of concerned Raleigh County citizens to inquire to the possibility of bringing the festival to their city. After weeks of conversations between the parties it was agreed that the 2012 Rocket Boys/October Sky Festival will be held in Beckley with many events taking place on the grounds of the Exhibition Coal Mine at New River Park on Oct. 5-7.[7]

October Sky Festival

In 1980, the Olga Coal Company was bought by the LTV Corporation which closed Coalwood's mine in 1986.[1]

At its peak, Coalwood had a population of over 2,000.[5]

The Coalwood-Caretta mine continued to be productive throughout most of the 20th century, producing on average one million tons annually until the mine was finally closed.[5]

In 1956, the Coalwood mine was connected underground to the nearby Caretta mine which was also owned by Olga. In 1959, Olga ceased bringing coal to the surface via Coalwood which prompted the Norfolk and Western Railway to begin pulling up the tracks leading to and from Coalwood.[1]

In 1922, Carter sold the mine and properties within the town to the Consolidation Coal Company. The company rebuilt the community and recruited new employees to work in the mines, but Carter regained the company when Consolidation Coal defaulted on its payments in 1933.[5] Carter died in 1936, and the company was then taken over by his son James who sold it in 1947 to a group of industrialists who changed the company name to the Olga Coal Company.

Carter hired a dentist and doctor to provide service to his miners.[4]

, a church and more. Carter Coal Company Store, and bought 20,000 acres (80 km²). He constructed a mine, calling it the Carter Coal Company and built offices, houses, a schoolhouse, the coal He came on the back of a mule and eventually found rich seams of [1]

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.