Originally named Kay Moor after mining superintendent James Kay and the company that owned it, the Low Moor Iron Company of Low Moor, Virginia, the once booming mining community is now a ghost town on the southside bank of the New River Gorge. This area of the New River had two mines located two miles apart from each other, known as Kaymoor One (opened in 1899) and Kaymoor Two (opened in 1903) with community centers consisting of houses, stores and schools, developed at the "top" and "bottom" of each site.
In 1923, Kaymoor "contained 131 single dwellings where 560 people lived, 140 of whom were employees... All were four-room bungalow-style houses, although a few shanties were located near the coke ovens. Seventy-eight units had electricity at a cost of $2 monthly, and all were heated by coal in fireplaces or potbelly stoves. All except the 19 newer houses [built in 1918] were 34 X 34 feet and were constructed of board-and-batten on a foundation of posts. Twenty-five houses had running cold water. Residents of the other homes carried water from nearby springs, pumps, or hydrants. Prominent outbuildings were coal sheds and privies, located at varying distances from the house. Standard monthly rent was $5 to $8, depending upon whether the house was furnished by the company or not." Single men stayed in a boarding house, while others found rooms with families in the bungalows.
After World War II, Kaymoor's coal production slumped and by 1960 the community was deserted, partly the result of decreased coal production and partly the result of automobiles making commuting to work possible. In April 1960, a fire destroyed much of the already vacant community in Kaymoor Bottom.
In 1978, Kaymoor was made part of the National Park Service, with the ruins, mine openings and remaining structures serving as historical highlights of the New River Gorge National River.
Athey, Lou. Kaymoor: A New River Community. Eastern National Park & Monument Assocation, 1986.
Many coal towns use to line the New River Gorge. Producer Aaron Shackelford visited what's left of the town of Kaymoor. This story aired April 5, 2007, on the program "Outlook" on West Virginia PBS