In 1870, England-born entrepreneur John Nuttall saw opportunity in the coal rich New River gorge and began buying land and building infrastructure along the Keeneys Creek drainage. When the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway was completed through the gorge in 1873, the town was ready for its arrival. Nuttallburg became the second mining town in the New River gorge to ship the "smokeless" coal, processed from a mineral seam hundreds of feet above the river corridor and shipped to industrial cities hundreds of miles away.
Nuttallburg was a bustling mining community by the turn of the century, continuing to thrive after Nuttall's death in 1897 under the direction of his heirs. The town became the focus of national attention in the 1920's when, in an effort known as "vertical integration" to gain control of all aspects of production, automobile industrialist Henry Ford leased the town's mines to provide coal for his company steel mills. The Fordson Coal Company made many improvements to the mine and town during the eight year tenure, but Ford's plan for "vertical integration" failed when it became evident he could neither control, nor afford to buy, the railroad that was responsible for transportation of the coal his mines produced. He sold interests in the Nuttallburg mines in 1928.
Nuttallburg is a nationally significant, protected historic site. Please help us preserve it. Do not remove or deface any artifacts and report any acts of vandalism to a park ranger or local authorities at 304-465-0508.
Driving to Nuttallburg
Winona can also be reached from the Canyon Rim Visitor Center by traveling north on US 19 to Hico 5.0 miles. Go east on US 60 (Midland Trail) 4.4 miles to Lookout, turn right onto Lansing-Edmond Road (CR 82) and go 2.1 miles to Winona, then follow the directions above for Keeneys Creek Road (CR 85/2).
Along the Way
Hiking to the Headhouse
Did You Know?
The New River Gorge was logged extensively thoughout the past century. The landscape is now recovering, with the park ecosystem returning to its more natural state, but there are still plenty of signs of the past activities.