A coal town
, also known as a coal camp
is typically situated in a remote place and provides residences for a population of miners to reside near a coal mine
. A coal town
is a type of company town
or mining community
established by the employer, a mining company, which imports workers to work the mineral find. The 'town founding' process is not limited to coal mining, nor mining, but is generally found where mineral wealth is located in a remote or undeveloped area, which is then opened for exploitation, normally first by having some transportation infrastructure
brought into being first. Often, such minerals were the result of logging operations by pushing into a wilderness forest, which clear-cutting operations then allowed geologists and cartographers, to chart and plot the lands, allowing efficient discovery of natural resources
and their exploitation.
Usually, the coal camp, like the railroad camp and logging camps, began with temporary storage, housing and dining facilities —tents, shanties, shacks— until more permanent dwellings could be built. Often the first built structures were log cabin storehouses followed closely by kitchens, a lumber mill and smithies, then management offices, housing. Gradually, within a year or so, the camp grew into a community with a variety of housing types including boardinghouses for transients and new hires, all the growing community organized around a Company Store
. The company would often give credit in the form of scrip
, a form of token money that would discourage workers from purchasing items in stores outside the town. The store, to the wives and families joining the miners in the developing community, was perhaps "the most essential structure in the town...". Read more...