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Late 19th and early 20th centuries. Kanawha County 77/1, 3 miles south of intersection with West Virginia 61 at Winifrede Junction

Little remains of this once important coal mining settlement. Controlled by Philadelphia interests, the Winifrede mines were among the earliest and largest in the Kanawha fields. In 1882 Manufacturers Record reported that the Winifrede Coal Company owned 10,000 acres of land “on which it has erected 74 new dwellings.” The Winifrede Railroad Company, which owned sixty coal cars, each with a six-ton capacity, had constructed a track from the town to the Kanawha, where it built “a first-class river coal tipple and breakwater.” Three years later, the Record reported that the company planned to build “50 more miners' houses at Winifrede of a better grade than those now in use,” and noted another company-sponsored amenity: “The neat and attractive church at these mines … was designed by Messrs. Babb, Cook & Willard, architects, 55 Broadway, New York City. We like to encourage the construction of good looking and well arranged buildings in our mining villages where, by far too often, all buildings are ugly, grimy, and unattractive.” The church is gone, and only a few houses in the narrow valley remain of Winifrede.

Writing Credits

S. Allen Chambers Jr.

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