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7/5/67 - lot down of it it Green- yes, too'. is a...
lot down of it it Green- yes, too'. is a Yesterday And Today-1884 Fayette Coal Co. Mail Salvaged By SHIRLEY DONNELLY When the old coal companies operating along New River .in early mining days closed down, their business papers frequently were given to the whirlwind and gale. Office files were simply d u m p e d over the river b a n k . Fishermen often came upon piles oi those old pa- ers. Many such bundles h a v e been brought to me for possible use in this daily column. Most of the papers are soiled but many are clearly legible. It is interesting to browse through notes from the fine hand of the coal company office penman. . ON MY DESK now is a sheaf of 1834.papers from the Fayette Coal and Coke Co., Stone Cliff. This operation was but a few miles upstream from Thurmond and not far from McKendrce. One of the letters is an order for two cars of coal to'be shipped as promptly as possible to Backbone, AUeghany Co., Virginia. In it, the iron concern superintendent, John - S. Ham, complained that "The last coal ssnt 'has given us trouble by forming cinder on the grate bars so very tough it cannot be removed until cold. Please select a better quality." THEY HAD a crude sense of humor in 1884, as witness the closing of the following letter to the same Stone Cliff mine. It was from Hileman, Waring and Co., manufacturers of pig iron, Callie Furnace, Va., and a Clifton Forge post office address. The letter, with "Gentlemen" as salutation, reads, "We today instructed our agent to wire you to resume coke shipments. Please do not load over 30 jimmies weekly; do not allow the average shipments to run over that number for this month, as our railroad is still out of shape and we do not care to be crowded with work for the balance of this month. This is our valentine." :The word "jimmies" isn't a familiar one in these parts now and I'm wondering what old time coke maker might know the meaning of it. POWERS, BLAIR Co., grocer and commission merchants and dealers in grain bags. 12 Pearl St., Richmond, Va., wrote to Stone Cliff that "The advance in meats has been so great that we thought we had best only send you a part of the quantity ordered, which we hope you will approve, but if you wish us to .send.the balance, please write us by return mail." Return mail probably meant the next train from Stone Cliff to Richmond. The same grocery concern stated in another letter that "the barrel of mackerel we put in your bill to ship the next day, as we have shipped it and regret the delay. Your favors shall always have our best attention." IN FEBRUARY of 1884, Stone Cliff coal was considered "too high in price," according to letters from George Appold tanners in Texas," and Oak Slaughter Sole Leather, commission merchants in hides and leathers, Baltimore, Md. The letters came from the company's "hide house" at Grsen Forest, Va. One letter to the Stone Cliff people came from the Cleveland office of the Dean Cooperage Co., maker of barrels and kegs, but the letterhead shows it having factories at Hinton, W. Va., and Portsmouth, Ohio. ONE BUSINESS communication to Stone Cliff came from Rodes Co. of Ronceverte. This firm dealt in queensware, woodenware, sack and barrel salt, boots and shoes, hats caps, gum goods, hardware groceries. The firm asked, "Can you handle a good article of country flour put up in 100-poucd sacks and what price can you pay it? It is the best flour.that ·mills make. It is a'very rich article but not as bright as patent process. We can furnish you 5 to 10 thousand pounds." A typewritten letter, dated July 30, 1884, was sent to Fayette Coal and Coke Co. B. F. Goodrich Co.'s Akron Rubber Works in Ohio, asking the coal company "to notice a kind of coke hose which we now supplying large coke manufacturers in Pennsylvania and elsewhere." A later letter from Stone Cliff to Akron expresses liking for coke hose the Fayette Coal Coke Co. ordered and was

Clipped from
  1. Beckley Post-Herald,
  2. 05 Jul 1967, Wed,
  3. Page 4

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