Coal Mine Tour in Beckley WV
We toured the coal mine that is right under our 5th wheel. Yes the hill where the city RV Park sits is above a coal mine.
Today we visited that mine and took the tour. It was interesting seeing the mine and how the men worked underground.
The tour guide who also ran the coal train and was a former coal miner was very knowledgeable. We were shown equipment from the earliest tools to the more recent equipment. At many of stops in the mine he demonstrated how the tools were used. The tunnels are very low. The roof was no more than two feet above our heads. Our tour guide showed us that we were in the tallest tunnels that would be found in a coal mine. The areas where miners were digging were usually less than 3 feet tall. He discussed many of the safety features now in mines.
The company was very hard on their workers and families. Cruel in fact. Essentially every bit of pay that they received went back to the company. Most mines were far away from any town so the company store was the only place to buy food and supplies. Since the miners were only paid in script instead of money they had no choice even if a store was near. The company store sold everything at higher than normal prices.
We also toured the museum of mining.
There were examples of the bachelor shanty and a family miner’s home.
They also had an 1830's heritage home site. The buildings were built by Scott/Irish homesteaders. Included was a school, store, workshops, and homes.
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