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Caretta Tipple


Keep Out! 
Old mines are dangerous!



This is the abandoned tipple at the Olga Coal Company mine beside West Virginia 16 in Caretta, West Virginia.   Truckers would dump slate into a hopper on the left side of the road.  The slate would move on a conveyor belt across the road to the tipple.  (This is the lowest structure over the road in the picture above.)  Once in the tipple, the slate would be transported up a cableway in large buckets to a slate dump at the top of the mountain on the left.  (You can see the cables crossing the road.)  There is a metal screen crossing the road under the cableway (and above the conveyor belt.)  The screen was simply to catch any pieces of rock that fell out of the buckets, thus protecting the cars on the road below.

This is the Olga tipple from the other side (looking south towards War).  You can see the conveyor belt that carried the slate from trucks across the road to the tipple.  You can also see the cableway leading from the tipple up the mountain to the slate dump.

This is a new coal loading operation located a few hundred yards south of the abandoned Olga tipple.  The coal is brought out of a new mine in the mountain to the right and loaded here.  The coal is loaded into trucks as the railroad line has been pulled up.





More photos of the Caretta tipple and support buildings:





Historical Photos from N & W Railroad

Below are copyrighted images available in the Virginia Tech Digital Library and Archives. Their web site is: http://scholar.lib.vt.edu.  (If you want to explore their site for additional pictures, click on "ImageBase" at the top of their home page; then "Browse" on the left side of the next page.)   We are not allowed to download the full-size pictures to our server; we can only display small thumbnails.  However, we provide a link under each picture which will show you the full-size picture on the Virginia Tech web site.  We have been given permission from Virginia Tech and Norfolk Southern Corporation to display these links.

Photo ID: nw1451
Title: Carter Coal Company, Caretta, West Virginia
Date: November 6, 1932
Norfolk & Western Historical Photos section
This would later be purchased by Olga Coal Company and would become Olga Tipple #2.
Link to full-size picture.

Photo ID: ns4763
Title: Slate Disposal Dump and Part of Aerial Tram At Caretta
Date: March 18, 1935
Norfolk & Western Historical Photos section
This is a huge pile of slate (waste rock) that has been separated from the coal after it was brought up from the Caretta mine.  Two things give you a sense of how big the mountain is.  First, look at the size of the house at the bottom of the mountain.  Second, look at the buckets on the aerial tram that are used to dump the slate on top of the pile.  The buckets are barely visible in the sky.
Link to full-size picture.



Other Historical Photos

Caretta Tipple
Taken in the 1920s.
Photo courtesy of the R. Tim Gilley Collection.


DG4236: An aerial view of the Caretta tipple.  Bottom right hand side is the skip hoist for bringing coal out of the mine. Photo courtesy of the David Goad Collection.


Coal that has been graded. These N&W railroad cars are sitting under a tipple. Each track is designated to handle coal of one particular size. Photo Courtesy of R. Tim Gilley Collection. (Note: We are not sure if this picture were actually taken in Coalwood or Caretta; it could be either one.)