This week, I had the pleasure of touring the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine.
The mine tour, the coal camp buildings, and the museum were fascinating and provided a wealth of information. I enjoyed talking with the various guides located on the grounds (and under the grounds in the mine).
In the mine, I was surprised to learn the miners worked in a shaft only 36 inches high. The clearance is much greater now thanks to work done by the city of Beckley. Inside, we were shown a skateboard that some miners used to ride the rail, so getting in and out was easier. I won’t spoil the tour by saying more, but you ride mine cars down into the mine. Along the way, the tour guide stops the cars and gets out to talk about working in the mines.
Outside, you’ll see the superintendent’s house. It’s very nice compared to the homes the miners had. Upstairs, there is a little post office with a mannequin standing inside; that was a little weird (maybe a lot weird). Walking up the stairs, I heard footsteps behind me. I didn’t think anyone else was walking with us so I turned around to see who it was. THERE WAS NO ONE THERE. That was fareeky, people.
It’s a great tour, so if you’re passing through Beckley, WV, definitely stop and do the tour.