The 1,600-square-foot Coal House, constructed in 1933 from 65 tons of coal, sits next to the Mingo County Courthouse in downtown Williamson, in the state’s southern coalfields. Hand-sawn blocks of bituminous coal joined with black mortar form the rectangular structure’s four walls and two pillars.
The landmark building was the idea of O. W. Evans, general superintendent of the fuel mines of the Norfolk & Western Railway. H. T. Hicks, an architect from Welch, designed the coal house. Local businesses and community people contributed materials and labor. The coal, taken from the Winifrede Seam, was donated by mining companies near Williamson, including Leckie Collieries, the Crystal Block Coal Company, Puritan Coal, the Sycamore Coal Company, and the Winifrede Block Coal Company.
In 1980, the Coal House was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Coal House is owned by the Williamson Convention and Visitors Bureau and houses the Tug Valley Chamber of Commerce. The interior of the Coal House was severely damaged by fire on October 11, 2010. With guidance from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, the Mingo County Commission worked to repair the structure, and the Coal House reopened to visitors on September 26, 2011.
Read the National Register of Historic Places nomination for the Coal House.
This Article was written by Nancy Ray Adams
Last Revised on January 23, 2013
State Historic Preservation Office. Historic West Virginia: The National Register of Historic Places. West Virginia Division of Culture & History, 2000.
Coal House Subject of English Magazine Article. Mingo Republican, 4/5/1940.
Williamson Coal House. Goldenseal, (Spring 2002).
Cite This Article
Adams, Nancy Ray "Williamson Coal House." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 23 January 2013. Web. 27 January 2015.