Caretta, West Virginia

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Unincorporated community
Caretta is located in West Virginia
Caretta is located in the US
Location within the state of West Virginia
Coordinates: 37°20′8″N 81°40′22″W / 37.33556°N 81.67278°W / 37.33556; -81.67278Coordinates: 37°20′8″N 81°40′22″W / 37.33556°N 81.67278°W / 37.33556; -81.67278
Country United States
State West Virginia
County McDowell
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 24821
GNIS feature ID 1554071[1]

Caretta is an unincorporated community located in McDowell County, West Virginia, United States. Caretta was named for the transposed syllables in the name of Mrs. Etta Carter,[2] the wife of George Lafayette Carter.[3] It is the only place in the United States with this name.

This coal town was originally owned first by The Virginia Pocahontas Coal Company, then by the Carter Coal Company, and the final operators in Caretta were the Consolidation Coal Company.

Caretta is home to the Big Creek People in Action[citation needed], an organization founded in 1990 by citizens of McDowell County, West Virginia in order to improve the local quality of life. The organization also boasts partnerships with numerous colleges, churches, and other groups who volunteer in the area.

Caretta's coal mine was connected to the mine in nearby Coalwood, West Virginia, made famous in the book Rocket Boys.

The Carter Coal Company Store was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992.[4]


  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Caretta, West Virginia
  2. ^ Kenny, Hamill (1945). West Virginia Place Names: Their Origin and Meaning, Including the Nomenclature of the Streams and Mountains. Piedmont, WV: The Place Name Press. p. 155. 
  3. ^ Homer Hickam, We Are Not Afraid: Strength and Courage for Our Nation from the Town of "October Sky", HCI, 2002, p. 15
  4. ^ National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 

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