The Williamson Coal Field is the name given to a coal-producing section of West Virginia that includes the following counties, in whole or in part: Mingo, McDowell, and Wayne counties.
Coal Seams in the Williamson Coal Field
The seams in the Williamson Coal Field occur in the Upper and Lower Division of the Kanawha Group of the Pottsville series. The top seam operated is the Coalburg and the bottom seam is the Eagle. The interval between these two contains 24 seams of which five are of minable; namely the Coalburg, Winfrede, Thacker (known as Red Jacket or Island Creek), Warfield (No. 2 Gas), and Eagle seams.
Between 1890 and 1892, the Norfolk & Western Railway (N&W) constructed the extension of its lines from Elkhorn, in McDowell County, to Coal Grove, Ohio, which facilitated the opening of coal mines in the yet undeveloped Williamson Coal Field. Four, or possibly five mines in the Wayne County section of the Williamson field apparently began shipping coal soon after the N&W reached the area in 1893. The Thacker Coal and Coke Company, incorporated in 1893, was one of the first large coal operations located in the field.