About Us

L. J. Hughes & Sons, Inc., a family owned and operated business, has served the bituminous coal industry for over ninety years, specializing in Diamond Core Drilling (mineral exploration), Pressure Grouting, Foundation and Soil borings, and Monitoring Well Drilling and Installation.


L. J. Hughes & Sons, Inc.’s goal is to always serve their client’s needs as quickly as possible with honesty and integrity while keeping all the geologic data strictly confidential.

Company Overview

L.J. Hughes & Sons, Inc. is one of the largest diamond core drilling contractors on the U.S. East Coast. We have been privately held and family-owned for over four generations. Since 1946, the company has drilled 16,182,172 feet.

Diamond Core Drilling is used in coal and mineral exploration to obtain core samples of the geological strata. Geotechnical Drilling is used to obtain soil and core samples used in the design of structures including buildings, dams, roads, and bridges.

Environmental Drilling is used to set monitoring wells to obtain ground water samples, often in contaminated areas. Pressure Grouting is used to pump grout slurries under high pressure into subsurface cracks and fissures to form impermeable barricades to seal off water when constructing mine shafts and slopes as well as bridge and dam foundations.

We are a member of both the National Drilling Association and the National Ground Water Association.

L.J. Hughes & Sons, Inc. is capable of operating 25 drill rigs within a nine state area consisting of West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and North Carolina. We maintain a maintenance/fabrication shop in Summersville, West Virginia manned by a full service staff and complete parts inventory that support our drilling services. Utilizing our fully equipped shop trucks, our staff can respond quickly to make necessary equipment repairs in the field, minimizing lost production time and keeping your exploration program on schedule.

Company Profile:

L. J. Hughes was employed as a diamond core driller for Hoffman Brothers Drilling Company in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. In the 1920’s, Mr. Hughes purchased two steam powered Sullivan core drills and established his own drilling company located in Indiana, Pennsylvania.

In 1942, Mr. Hughes moved his drilling equipment to West Virginia to do an exploratory drilling project for the New Gauley Company, a subsidiary of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad. Mr. Hughes’ two sons, Robert D. and Charles L. joined the family business in 1946. Coal exploratory drilling remained plentiful in West Virginia and the Hughes family settled in Summersville, Nicholas County, West Virginia in 1950.

In 1952, L. J. Hughes & Sons was incorporated in West Virginia.

L. J. Hughes and his two sons, Robert D. and Charles L. remained active in the family business until their respective deaths in 1965, 1979, and 1981. Evelyn H. and Fletcher G. Herold retired from the business in 1990 and 1986, respectively.

As the Corporation progressed, the third generation entered the family business and continues to be100% owned by the Hughes and Herold families. Charles L. Hughes’ twin sons, David M. and John M. Hughes joined the business in 1973. Evelyn H. and Fletcher G. Herold’s son, Fletcher G. Herold, Jr., joined the business in 1975 and their daughter, Rebecca H. Adkins, joined the business in 1990. The present officers are David. M. Hughes, President; John M. Hughes, Vice President; Fletcher G. Herold, Jr., Treasurer; and Rebecca H. Adkins, Secretary.

M. Lilly, a great grandson of L.J. Hughes and grandson of Charles L. Hughes, became the fourth generation to enter the family business in 2006.”