Thank you to everyone who joined us on August 24th to clean up the historic Coke Ovens along the Rail Trail! We had wonderful weather Saturday morning, and were able to do lots of mowing, clipping, chopping, and cleaning around the Coke Ovens, making them much more accessible to visitors and visible from the Rail Trail.
The five coke ovens seen here are just a handful of the 570 Coke Ovens in Thomas that were used to refine coal into the much hotter burning “coke” during the late 1800s and early 1900s. They line the North Fork of the Blackwater on either side of the Rail Trail, in various stages of collapse. Now a unique feature of this historic mining town, the Coke Ovens used to be a major source of pollution for the Blackwater River. They serve as a reminder of why we work so hard to protect and restore the natural ecology of this beautiful part of Appalachia!