Preserving the Wild and Wonderful: The Monuments to Mining Towns On The Coal Heritage Highway

By Isaac Fornarola


Fayette County in southern West Virginia was once known for the smokeless coal that came from its mines. Over spring break, I travelled the Coal Heritage scenic highway to understand the present-day conditions of a region that has been all but abandoned over the past 50 years. In Mt. Hope, I found a strange monument – a large piece of smokeless coal from the New River region, kept in a small cage beneath an underpass (above). Downtown Mt. Hope (below left) is deserted. What remains is the natural beauty of the New River Gorge (below right)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *