NAME: Sewell
CLIMATE: Snow is common in winter. Summer is pleasant
BEST TIME TO VISIT: Spring, Summer and Fall
COMMENTS: The town is totally deserted with some interesting remains which include the line of 70 or so Coke ovens, the remains of what looks like a church but is in fact the machine shop. The shop was the only stone building in town and apparently the most important one. A number of various gauge railroad tracks are laid out through out the village. It's a fun place to explore and 'piece together'. See if you can find the spring. It's near the bend in the road leading in and was the source of drinking water in the town. The water still flows and is pure and good. Sewell can be found in Babcock State Park near Beckly. The rangers can give you specific directions. 4WD is not necessary, usually, but not a bad idea. The town is pretty isolated.
REMAINS: Coke ovens, the ruins of a building or two and machinery
Sewell was a large Coke manufacturing center in the late 19th and early 20th century. Coke was extracted from the local coal and used in the manufacture of steel. No one seems to know when it was finally deserted or why, but I suspect that as the coal reserves in West Virginia became less, so did the cost effectiveness of making the Coke. Submitted by: Larry Williams