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June 2006 - NEWS NEWS NEWS NEWS NEWS NEWS NEWS NEWS! We are currently working with a grant team to create a coal camp documentary which will be available for historic and educational purposes. It's our hope to have this video completed within the next year. Watch our site for updates!

The people shooting this film were the Placidi family.  The Placidi's parents came to America from Italy.  While working on the railroad, the family got off the track and settled in the coal camp of Helen, WV.  Helen is found just a few miles south of Beckley, WV.  Most of the film is taken of the people that inhabited the camp.

Perhaps the most exciting frames for me were those of the old coal camp baseball league.  During this period, coal camp baseball was high entertainment for the camp's people.  There is also some footage of football practice - before the day of plastic helmets and pads.

You'll also see the people - just plan people hanging out on the main drag.  And, of course, you'll see plenty of coal - from the mouth of the coal mine to the coal tipple to the coal train.  Coal was the center piece of life in the coal camp.

So pop some corn and sit back and enjoy the film...

June 2001 - In April, we received a call from the Mission West Virginia Inc. Program & Development Director, Chris Wood.  Mission West Virginia, Inc. is a non-profit organization set up to benefit the disadvantaged and disenfranchised people of our state.

Chris found our web site while searching for material to be used in a video which MWV was creating.  The video focuses on advancing the disadvantaged by using technology.  Homer Hickam, NASA scientist and author of "Rocket Boys" (aka "October Sky"), is featured on the video as an example of a coal camp kid using technology to better himself.

Here's the exciting part!  We gave MWV permission to use footage featured on this site on the video.  Some of the original coal camp scenes film is blended into the video with narration by Homer Hickman.  The video was completed around end of May, 2001.

I hope you enjoy the show.  Please tell your friends about our site and have a wonderful day!

Randy Hunt


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