First established in 1870, the Nuttalberg Coal Mining Complex and its attendant ghost town have been abandoned since the early 20th century, but determined hikers can still visit the remains of the operation which are sitting in a lush West Virginia river gorge.
John Nutall was a coal prospector who predicted that a railroad hub would come to West Virginia’s New River, and built the appropriately-named Nuttalberg facility to cash in. He was proven right and the operation grew to include almost a hundred houses and a large facility for processing the ore.
The mine flourished and in the 1920s it was taken over by the Ford Motor Company. The burgeoning automotive giant commandeered the entire output of the mine to power their factory in Dearborn, Michigan. Under ownership by Ford, the mine was widely updated, but in 1928, just a few years after the operation was purchased and redesigned, it was closed down, likely due to railroad regulations.
The mine itself was finally sealed in 1958, but the towering remains of the long conveyor and processing facility still remain, surrounded by overgrowth. The remains of the old, brick coke ovens and railroad tracks are slowly being retaken by the foliage, looking a bit more haunted with passing year. The ruins are now protected and cared for by the National Park Service so with luck the ghosts of this lovely mining operation won’t disappear forever.