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Elk Garden, WV

West Virginia Town

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This community had its peak as a mining and farming community nearly a century ago. In the 1880s, several big mines were opened to remove high quality coal from the mountains. A narrow gauge railroad carried the coal to a West Virginia Central track below. The Davis Coal Company built railroads, mines, and even towns to house the hundreds of workers who came to the North Branch valley to mine coal.

Passenger service was started on the railroads along the river in 1889. Estimates of the numbers of miners in the region topped 2000 by the year 1900. Major fires and explosions racked the Elk Garden area in the 1910s and '20s. In one accident in 1911, 23 men were killed by an explosion of mine gas. By the late 1920s, the area began a slow decline, as the better quality coal was depleted and the demand dropped. With the closing of more mines in the 1950s, the population of Elk Garden dipped below 300.

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Contact Information
Town of Elk Garden
WV Route 42
Elk Garden WV 26717