Caretta is an unincorporated community located in McDowell County, West Virginia, United States. It is named after the transposed syllables of Mrs. Etta Carter, the wife of George Lafayette Carter, who founded Carter Coal.
Caretta was a major coal camp in McDowell County. The Post Office opened in 1905, followed by a school in 1907. In 1922 the operations at Caretta were sold to Consolidated Coal Company and the first mine shaft was constructed in 1924. At least 200 houses were constructed at Caretta along with a 22 room boarding house.
In 1947 the company and town was sold to a group of industrialists from Youngstown, Ohio that would become the Olga Coal Company. The Caretta mine was connected to the adjoining Coalwood mine in 1956, which was also owned by Olga Coal.
The Caretta mine first closed in 1982 during an extensive coal industry slump, although it resumed operations between 1983 and 1986. Caretta Elementary closed in 1985 and Caretta Post Office ceased operations in August 2005. However, in the 21st Century there was a somewhat small truck mine coal loader at the lower end of Caretta. In 2015 a completely new prep plant replaced the old one. Take a look at these pictures to see abandoned buildings in Caretta, WV.