Mountaintop Removal, When Mountains Move, National Geographic: Burning Down The House

Gray smoke and orange flames fill neighborhood where man stokes the fire.

As mountaintop removal mine permits allow the surface mines to grow, they often displace residents in their way.  Dingess-Rum Coal Company served notice to Dehue residents renting old coal company houses, giving them 30 days to move. Then they burned the houses down one by one, although some residents had not yet left.

Dehue, like dozens of other mining towns, was once a busy center of activity with a grocery, post office, theater, barbershop, pool hall, school payroll office, and Civic Club. These communities become ghost towns and over time are dismantled. Day lilies and fruit trees often mark the spot of leveled homes lining a road.

Dehue was located off Route 10 on Rum Creek south of Logan. It began in 1916 as a coal company town owned by Youngstown Mines Corporation. It existed as late as the 1970s, but the homes were never sold to private residents. Most houses were cleared and burned in 2000 and 2001.