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RED ASH Company Store.

This is a view of the RED ASH Company Store that was located in RED ASH Coal Camp. This picture was taken between 1900 & 1925. In the foreground is the house that Marvin HELTON (A deceased cousin) grew up in. Marvin HELTON decends from William VANCE & Nancy BURNSIDES' Daughter Mary VANCE that married Asa HELTON. Between the house and the company store is wooden coal cars on the railroad track.

To the right "Not in the picture" is where my parents lived in 1950 when my Grandfather Fields Joshua Vance died in his sleep. My parents also lived in the house on the right just below the company store, you can see this one.

Looking directly over the top of the company store you can see more coal cars, and a small tiple. The house I grew up in was directly across from this small tiple, just out of sight around the bend in this picture. Of course this picture was taken long before I was around! In the upper right corner "Just out of the picture" Is the house that my wife Mary Thelma "Tami" KENNEDY spent several of her childhood years, she's my hometown girl!



Below is a picture of the old Red Ash Coal Tiple.


The railroad tracks in the foreground is the tracks leading to the RED ASH Coal Company mine. As of five years ago you could still get back in the old mine, several families living around the old mine get all of their water from it. This reminds me of a short story I would like to tell.

This took place in 1985, My wife and I, along with my three kids from my first marriage were living in RED ASH, in the house that I grew up in. Everyone living in the RED ASH Camp got their water from one of the old abandoned coal mines, about 15 families were still living there in 1987. Anyway the water began to dry up in the old mine, which would cause real problems if water could not be found! Me and a couple of my friends began a search for water. We searched several old mines around the RED ASH area.

Finally we found one about a mile from the RED ASH Camp. Myself and Gerald SPARKS (A cousin) got on an inflatable raft with a rope tied to it, with three people on the other end of the rope to pull us in if we had trouble. We put our battery lights on our heads "mining lights", and paddled into the mine!

We went back about 500 feet into the old mine, checking the water depth as we went. We found one spot that was 5 feet deep, with about 3 feet between the water and the roof of the mine, this is where we decided to drop the end of our water line when we got it. The water was so clear you could see through the water to the bottom of the mine. We saw old mining cars, picks, shovels, and several other objects that I have no idea what they were!

We took up donations from the families living in the camp with the promise of plenty water. We bought just over a mile of water line. I got a 2000 gallon water tank from my brother and took a chain block and pulled it up the side of the old slate dump in RED ASH about 100 feet. We dug out a hole in the side of the slate dump for the tank. We ran the water line from the mine to the tank, and from the tank to the water system to the camp. It was gravity fed, and the pressure, after running a mile was tremendous, that was the reason for the tank, if we hadn't put the tank in, it would have blown everyone's water lines apart. Needless to say that solved the water problem for some time. Now the mine has fallen in, and the remaining families there drilled wells for water. The old tank is still there. I went into several of the old mines in and around RED ASH over the years, a very dangerous thing to do, but, I was young and indestructible then. I definately wouldn't do it now, I suppose I have grown wiser!




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