Colliers, West Virginia facts for kids
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Colliers is an unincorporated community in Brooke County, West Virginia. It is the second oldest town in Brooke County, Wellsburg being the oldest. Its population expanded steadily throughout the 1800s and into the 1900s because a section of the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago, and St. Louis (PCC&StL) Railroad ran through the town, and because numerous coal mines were established, including the Blanch Coal Mine and the Locust Grove Mine. After both enterprises closed, the population declined until Colliers became a small, residential community. Throughout its existence, Colliers’ social life has revolved primarily around the local schools and churches.
Colliers has a population of 2,045 people. Of these, 2,008 of the people are Caucasian, eight are African American, eight are Asian/Pacific Islanders, fourteen are Hispanic, one is American Indian/Eskimo/Aleut, and nineteen are listed as other. 1,085 people are male, and 959 are female.
In 1771, Jacob Collier founded the settlement of Colliers. There was a small fort located in this settlement. The fort was used during battles with Native Americans during the late 1700s.
The city of Colliers was officially founded in 1843. Many workers and their families immigrated from outside the United States. The coal mining industry was profitable, and numerous people immigrated to Colliers to work in the mines. These immigrants formed a community on the west end of Colliers called Logrow, or the Boardwalk. The PCC&StL Railroad ran through this section of Colliers, which brought about the rise of a pool hall, a movie theater, and a mining company store, among other establishments.
The east end of Colliers was known as Mine Hill. The train also stopped here, and as a result, Mine Hill saw the appearance of a restaurant, a boarding house, barbershops, and general stores.
However, in the 1920s, the mines began running out of minerals and were shut down. Colliers’ population decreased, especially in Logrow. The Great Depression hit the town hard, and many businesses closed. After the Depression, Colliers did not fully return to its former prosperity, as the mines could not reopen. The main source of income for the town became the Colliers Steel Corporation. After the corporation closed, the steel industry was revived by the 1998 opening of the Mountaineer Metal Products company.
Blanch Mine was a coal mine owned by L.C. Smith, William Smith, and John McNulty. It was plagued by tragic accidents in the late 1800s. On November 21, 1892, three workers, one of them only fifteen years old, were killed and seven were wounded when twenty-five kegs of powder exploded inside the mine. Luckily, most of the workers had exited the mine to eat by the time the accident occurred.
Two years later, on November 20, 1984, another explosion was caused in the mine by a new miner detonating an overcharged blast. The accident caused the deaths of seven workers and wounding eleven.
Locust Grove Mine
Locust Grove was owned by the West Virginia and Pittsburgh Coal Company. This mine was the location of another explosion. On June 11, 1914, shots were fired at the mine by unknown assailants, and a dynamite bomb was exploded at the mine entrance. It is likely that the attacks were the work of company employees taking part in a strike that had begun in September 1913, but the assailants were not caught.
Colliers, West Virginia Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.