Scenic USA - West Virginia

Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine

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Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine, West Virginia

Photos by Jack Ryan
Jack Ryan Photography

     Shortly after its break from Virginia Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine Sign, Beckley, West Virginia during the Civil War period, West Virginia began to pick up the pace of coal mining in the state. Here in nearly every country of the state, miners found some of America's best coal, turning coal production into West Virginia's leading industry. In 1883, when the Norfolk and Western Railroad arrived, thousands of immigrants rushed into southern West Virginia. Coal Town Superintendants House - Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine, Beckley, West Virginia What followed were decades of labor-management disputes, poor mining safety standards, deadly mining accidents and even armed battles between miners and mine baron troops.
     Here at the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine, West Virginia's coal mining history awaits to be rediscovered. A focal point of the city's New River Park, the exhibition invites its guests to explore homes and buildings of authentic coal mining districts and tour an actual coal mine. Coal Town Church - Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine, Beckley, West Virginia Closed to production in 1960, the mine was reopened as a tourist attraction. Here at the museum, visitors may take a seat in an old mining car and take a trip into a low seam coal mine. Traveling in a big loop, the mine tour runs 180 feet underground. Lead by an veteran coal miner, during the tour you'll hear just about every facet of this unforgiving underground life.
     Back on top, exhibition visitors may tour the community church, school, minerís house and the superintendant's home. Most buildings are decorated with antiques and period furnishings. The Samuel Dixon Mansion, built in 1906, was dismantled and moved from Skelton in Raleigh County. The three story clapboard home is a one-of-a-kind mining superintendant's home.

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