"A Geological Report upon the Coal Lands of Mrs. J. R. Harrison & others in Fayette County, West Virginia" by Jed. Hotchkiss
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The following "General Geological Section" was constructed by O.H. Veazey Esq., a thoroughly competent engineer of Charleston, W.Va., from levelings and openings made on Lot "B" of this same patent, on Hughes' creek, about five miles down the Kanawha from this estate, _it is, essentially, the section of lot "H" for reasons before stated, locally modified, as hereafter stated.
The following extracts are from the carefully prepared report of Gen. I.M. St. John, the consulting engineer of the Chesapeake and Ohio R.R. issued in May, 1876. These statements are made concerning the coals on the estates adjacent and opposite to this, and they apply equally well to this estate.
"The number of mines has increased from 2, which commenced shipments in 1873, to 18 in 1876" + "one of the largest and most prosperous, [illegible] however, now uses rail transportation altogether, having good ferry arrangements over the Kanawha." + "the coal tonnage has steadily increased, that of 1875 being 35 percent over 1874, and in 1876 (first 5 months) about 50 percent over the same period of 1875."
"Of the 18 mines referred to on the C.&O.R.R. not one has been found to require machinery for ventilation, hoisting or pumping; and there has been an unusual exemption from mine accidents. Their mining plant is of the simplest character, viz: side or branch tracks, inclines and [illegible line] facilities in this valley for opening work at low cost are certainly exceptional".
For greater precision of statement, reference is made to the Coal Valley mine, - 343 miles from Richmond, - which weekly ships 960 to 1,000 tons from a 7 foot vein, here 80 feet above the railroad. The agent of this company states that the original outlay to open and equip the mine was $4,200, and that the entire expenditure to date, including all mining work chargable to this account, and for all fixtures, rails, tools, cars, and stocks has been $6,230. This Coal Valley enterprise, one of the most successful of the Kanawha Valley, is operated on leased ground, under royalty by an association of miners, and has supplied the Richmond Gas-Works by contract during 1875 & 1876 - also shipping gas coal to more distant points. Other mines have been opened on the Coal Valley and adjoining seams for less cost where they approach the railroad more closely.
The smaller mines are generally operated by miners on lease, and when examined present the most convincing evidence of the facility of mining superior coals at a very low cost. It is emphatically the field of work for men, or companies, of small means".
Analyses of Cannelton Coals [in columns] Location Vol. Mar. Fixd Curn. Ash. Authority. Cannelton - "Selected" cannel 46.50 43.20 10.20 Cresson Do. - "Average" cannel 46.50 41.30 12.20 Do. Do. lower stratum, cannel seam 58.00 23.50 18.50 Co. Report Do. semi-cannel, cooking & gas coal - 35.10 62.90 2.00 Ford Coal Valley, lower seam, " " " " [cooking & gas coal] 35.20 61.60 1.87 State Report WVa."
The Cannellton Company, - across the Kanawha river from Cannelton Station 343 miles from Richmond, - also ships cannel largely in addition to working other seams upon the same property, viz:- No. 4, Cannel ranging from 105 ft. in thickness, with a softer or semi-cannel on top. - No. 5, Block or Splint coal about 8 feet thick, hard, strong and with other characteristics of the better splint varieties as described elsewhere. No. 2, Coking or Gas coal, 7-ft. thick, and conforming in position to the vein on the westerly slopes of the Kanawha described as Coal Valley. Capacity of the Cannelton mines 300 tons daily, with very complete equipment & shipping arrangements. The valuable Cannel seams of the Cannelton section, together with other veins, have been opened at several points upon the Huntington property adjoining, and elsewhere in the vicinity".
The demand for the coals of this region for gas-making purposes is very large, because they are among the very best known, as the following table shows: -
[in columns...] "Cannellton Cannel 12.025 45.60 [Manhatten?] Gas Light Co. " [Cannelton Cannel] 10,000 64.54 [Manhatten?] Gas Light Co. " [Cannelton Cannel] "Average" 11,648 950.6 (1) C.M. Cresson " [Cannelton Cannel] "Selected" 12,588 992.7 (1) [C.M. Cresson] " [Cannelton Cannel] "Coking" 11,334 16.14 Ford Coal Valley, lower seam 10,080 17.00 Richmond Gas Works " " [Coal Valley, lower seam] 11, 771 17.00 Waltham Gas Co., Mass"
Of the Splint Coal of the Kanawha M.F. Meury says, in the W.Va. Report of 1876 [illegible line] with more of less bituminous coal, is found in seams as thick as 10 and 11 feet. For the combined purposes of steam, domestic use, and the manufacture of iron, it may be looked upon as the most useful and valuable coal of the state, and even now it ranks so high that in the New York retail market it quotes higher than any other W. Va. coal, except cannel. Its value is due to its firmness and solidity, which enables it to be handled, shifted and stored with very little loss. It burns well leaving but little ash; has both high calorific power and intensity; is usually remarkably free from sulphur and other impurities; has little or no tendency to clinker; is free from the danger of firing by spontaneous combustion - a great desideratum is storage and ocean transportation; is first rate as a steam and household fire, and it has particular adaptability in its raw state to the manufacture of iron in the blast furnace".
The 7-foot seam of coal above referred to, a Coal Valley, is opened on this estate near the mouth of Blake's branch, just above the level of the creek valley, so it may be entered and worked without the intervention of an incline. This superior seam of coal I found fully seven feet thick at the point indicated, and, being so near the bottom of the valley of Smither's creek, it underlies the entire estate as an almost unbroken stratum of superior gas coal, while equally valuable for almost all other uses. Some idea of the quantity of coal here existing may be had by calling attention to the fact that each foot of thickness in a coal seam yields 1,000 tons of gettable coal to an acre, and so this seam would give 7,000 tons to an acre, of 43,742,000 tons for this estate: -
[Profile drawing...] Feet A.M.T. Conglomerate
1,500' 1' Iron Ore Sandstone 2' Shale 3' Coal Bituminous 2' Shale Sandstone
1,400' Coal Sandstone
1,300' 4'8" Splint Coal 1' Cannel " [Coal] 3' Coal 2' Iron Ore Black Flint
1,200' Slate 5' Splint Coal 3' Bitums " [Coal] 5'.6"Splint Coal 4'(?) Splint C
1,100' 4'(?) Splint C. 4' B't. Splint Coal 2'6" Cannel Coal 6" Bitums " [Coal] 2' Slate 4' Bituminous " [Coal]
1,000' 4'9" Splint Coal Sandstone 1' Coal 4' Slate 1' Coal
900' 4'(?) Bits Coal
800' 4'0" Bits Coal 3'6" Bits Coal 3'6" Bit's Coal
700' Slate Filled with Kidney I. Ore Coal
600' Low water [Kanawha?]