Photo, Print, Drawing Bear paw prints on the sludge pond dam

About this Item

Bear paw prints on the sludge pond dam
Contributor Names
Eiler, Lyntha Scott (Photographer)
Created / Published
September 29, 1995
Subject Headings
-  Fall
-  September
-  Year-round work
-  Mining
-  Eagle Mine (W. Va.)
-  Goals Preparation Plant (Shumate's Branch, W. Va.)
-  Sludge ponds
-  Photographs
-  Ethnography
-  West Virginia -- Raleigh County -- Sundial
-  Mountaintop removal and reclamation introduces several new landforms to the coal fields. One of the introduced landforms is the "wet refuse impoundment," a structure designed to store the waste from coal preparation plants. At the Goals Preparation Plant in Sundial, an A.T. Massey subsidiary, coal from surrounding mines is cleaned through a process called "flocculation," which separates ash from coal, making the coal lighter to ship and cleaner to burn. Federal clean air and water legislation prohibits the release of waste water from the cleaning process into streams. Coal companies therefore must store the waste water somewhere for chemical treatment and gradual "dewatering." The solution is to store the "fine refuse" in large hollows behind impoundments made of the coarse refuse. These structures, which are hundreds of feet deep, are known locally as "sludge ponds." Sludge ponds in the project study area are located at Shumate's Branch, Marfork, and Elk Run. Shumate's Branch was settled in the first half of the 19th century, and was farmed continuously until the mid-1980s, when Peabody relocated several dozen families and a cemetery in order to create the space required for the sludge dam. (Bone, 1994)
-  Event: Tour of Shumate's Branch.
35 mm Color Slide
Call Number/Physical Location
AFC 1999/008: CRF-LE-C020-06
Source Collection
Coal River Folklife Collection (AFC 1999/008)
American Folklife Center
Digital Id
Online Format
IIIF Presentation Manifest
Manifest (JSON/LD)

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Credit line

Coal River Folklife Project collection (AFC 1999/008), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Eiler, Lyntha Scott. Bear Paw Prints on the Sludge Pond Dam. Raleigh County Sundial West Virginia, 1995. Photograph.

APA citation style:

Eiler, L. S. (1995) Bear Paw Prints on the Sludge Pond Dam. Raleigh County Sundial West Virginia, 1995. [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Eiler, Lyntha Scott. Bear Paw Prints on the Sludge Pond Dam. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.