NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu Jan 31 13:48:10 EST 2008

Roanoke Times - January 29, 1908


Charleston, W. Va., Jan. 28 - A letter received by ex-Governor McCorkle
from Vice-President Decatur Axtell, of the Chesapeake and Ohio railway,
calls attention to the fact that at the present rate the Chesapeake and
Ohio road is transporting coal, there is sufficient black diamonds in the
Little Coal River section alone to keep the railroad busy for a century.
Among other things, Mr. Axtell says:
"I have just been taken some distance off the map of the New River and
anawha coal fields, and find that the drainage area of Little Coal river is
approximately 10 miles wide at Madison; 14 miles southward up the streams
the distance straight across the divide between the head of Spruce and
Dingess run to Cherry Mountain is 16 miles. Five miles further south the
drainage territory is ten miles wide. These sealed distances, which, of
course, represents straight lines, make a total area in the drainage of the
tributaries of the Little Coal river, about or south of Madison, 282 square
miles of this carries an average of five feet of coal, the total tons of
coal would be 1,024,000,000, calculating 1,600 tons per foot per acre.
"The Chesapeake and Ohio railway transported 10,378,000 tons of coal and
coke in the last fiscal year, so you will see that the statement which I
made to the gentlemen who were with us recently, that there was enough coal
in the Little Coal River basin to furnish the Chesapeake and Ohio for 100
years - with tonnage equal to all the coal it now handled, is fairly well
supported by the foregoing figures. The pamphlet before me shows that the
story, based on the above figures, is not half told, when it is considered
that the Big Coal river basin is not included at all, which has more coal
than Little Coal river, the mind can begin to realize the immensity of the
quantity of coal that lies in the whole drainage of Coal river."

["anawha coal fields" is what the paper has. I suspect they lost a K somehwere]


- Ron Davis, Roger Link

More information about the NW-Mailing-List mailing list