Mining equipment is heavy and bulky, and was most likely left in place when the mine no longer became profitable or when the miners moved on to a different location. Regulations during the mining gold rush were very loose, and it is often more cost-effective for industrial sites to leave used equipment where it sits and procure new equipment, rather than remove the old equipment (this is called abandon-in-place).
The West Virginia Office of Miners’ Health Safety & Training, among other groups, has information about teaching children to stay away from abandoned mines and equipment.
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