The new tipple was built in 1923-1924, the third tipple in the hamlet.
The improvements at Nuttallburg doubled production. It was part of Ford's goal of creating "vertical integration" or controlling all aspects of production. Ford's effort failed because he could not control the railroad that transported his coal.
He sold his interests in the Nuttallburg mines in 1928. The mines had three additional owners before they closed in 1958, unable to compete. The post office closed in 1955 and the rail depot on the CSX line was shut down in 1962.
In 1998, the Nuttall family transferred ownership of Nuttallburg to the park service.
The site was inventoried and documented. A long-range plan for stabilizing the historic structures and getting rid of vegetation including kudzu, Japanese knotweed, Japanese jointgrass, wingstem and jewelweed that had overrun the town was completed by the park service in 2005. Restoration work got underway in 2006.
A new bridge was built on the Keeney Creek Road to allow visitors to reach Nuttallburg. It opened for visitation about two years ago. The park service has invested $2 million to stabilize the badly rusted tipple and the conveyor, and to fight the invasive vegetation.
The stone outline of the company store sits at the north end of a long line of abandoned coke ovens. Little is known about the store itself, where trees now grow inside the roofless structure.
Nuttall built 80 of the beehive ovens where coal was turned into high-quality coke for making steel. Each oven had a capacity of five tons. Nuttall's coke ovens may not have been used after 1920.
Shorts Creek, the town's drinking water supply, divided Nuttallburg into an African-American community on its east side and a white community on its west side. Each had its own school, church and worker clubhouse.
Masonry bridge supports still stand by the railroad tracks. The 340-foot-long bridge stretched across the New River to the town of South Nuttall (also known as Brown). It was built in 1889. The pedestrian-only bridge was finally removed in the early 1960s after Nuttallburg was abandoned.
It is difficult to get a good picture of what Nuttallburg was really like because of the thick greenery that overtakes everything in late summer.
There are the cut-stone building foundations of the Taylor House, a large boarding house, and a few other buildings that visitors can explore on do-it-yourself tours.
The Taylor House was built by Nuttall's daughter and son-in-law, Martha and Jackson Taylor. It later served as a clubhouse for white miners.
You can also access Nuttallburg via the 3.5-mile Keeney's Creek Rail Trail, an old railroad bed that once ran up Keeney Creek to Winona. There are two access spots off Keeney Creek Road.
But there is another way to access the mine opening: from the top, via the Headhouse Trail off Beauty Mountain Road. The park service advises against using GPS systems to get to Nuttallburg.
The park service also has two other sites with strong coal history in New River Gorge: the town of Thurmond and the Kaymoor mine.
For information, contact New River Gorge National River, 304-465-0508, www.nps.gov/neri.
Bob Downing: bdown...@thebeaconjournal.com