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Cemetery on Red Ash Island along West Virginia's New River by Steve Beckelhimer

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About This Gigapan

Taken by
Steve Beckelhimer Steve Beckelhimer
Explore score
0.32 Gigapixels
Date added
Nov 13, 2011
Date taken
Nov 12, 2011

Mining at Red Ash, WV began in 1891 shortly after establishment of the nearby Rush Run mine which eventually connected underground to Red Ash.
The mines are known for early affiliation with mining unions and were the site of several mining disasters including ones in 1900 and 1905. Both of these are believed to be explosions resulting from the buildup of methane gas and coal dust ignited by the open flame miner’s lamps that were commonly used at the time.
The remains of the mining operation of the Red Ash Coal and Coke Company and town of Red Ash are located on the northern bank of the New River. Babcock State Park is across the river as well as mining communities of Beury, Fire Creek and Sewell.
Visible remains exist of the mining operations including some tipple and coking ruins. It is estimated that nearly 100 beehive coke ovens were in the area at the height of operation. There are foundation remains in the residential area of Red Ash including homes, churches, schools business and cemeteries. All that remains of these structures today are some foundation piers and stone walls. The rail spur to the area of the northern side of the river has been removed although the rail bed remains as the best access to the sites.
Red Ash “Island” is an area that is seasonally separated from the town of Red Ash. The island has an extensive cemetery although most of the graves are unmarked or poorly marked with crude headstones. Many of the graves are from the smallpox quarantine facility that was established on the island in the late 1800s. Smallpox victims from nearby mining communities were brought to Red Ash Island and eventual burial since the death rate was very high. Since the terrain of the island is very flat, it provided an ideal site for a baseball field which was constructed in the 1940s. This provided important recreational outlet for miners from Red Ash and the many surrounding mines.
Red Ash can be accessed year round by parking at the public boat launch at the former mining community of Brooklyn, WV. Travel beyond the locked National Park Service gate is easy by foot or bicycle. Motorized travel is prohibited beyond the locked gate.
These images are in support of Marshall University students in the Integrated Science and Technology department working under Dr. Mike Little. Students, Lauren and Jeremy are doing the bulk of the fieldwork to understand the environmental disturbance in the area associated with the mining operations over 100 years ago and the succession that has taken place since. Assistance and cooperation from David Fuerst of the National Park Service is greatly appreciated.
Red Ash Community – N 37o 57.643’ W 081o 02.121’
Graves on Red Ash Island N 37o 57.861’ W 081o 01.431’

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Stitcher Notes


GigaPan Stitch version 1.0.0805 (Windows)
Panorama size: 317 megapixels (29796 x 10652 pixels)
Input images: 72 (12 columns by 6 rows)
Field of view: 112.5 degrees wide by 40.2 degrees high (top=9.5, bottom=-30.7)
All default settings
Original image properties:
Camera make: Canon
Camera model: Canon PowerShot A3100 IS
Image size: 4000x3000 (12.0 megapixels)
Capture time: 2011-11-12 13:02:39 - 2011-11-12 13:06:18
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure time: 0.008
ISO: 80
Focal length (35mm equiv.): 138.5 mm
Digital zoom: off
White balance: Fixed
Exposure mode: Manual
Horizontal overlap: 42.2 to 48.5 percent
Vertical overlap: 48.5 to 49.0 percent
Computer stats: 16375.1 MB RAM, 8 CPUs
Total time 35:18 (29 seconds per picture)
Alignment: 23:42, Projection: 2:21, Blending: 9:15
(Preview finished in 30:26)

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