Thursday, June 19, 2014

Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine

On a recent trip, we were excited to get to see a coal mine.  It's been an activity I have been wanting to add to our experiences but we don't live close to one.  Our trip to Raleigh had us driving right past one!

 Playing a mining video game.
 Getting ready for our ride into the mine.

 I just thought this was a cool shot entering the mine.
 The kids got a little nervous at how dark it was.  Caty was freaked out by the standing water.
 Explaining the reason birds were used in the mines.
 Explaining the various lighting options used through the years.
 That 1-ton car was the amount of coal that was expected by each miner to take out of the mine.  That's a lot of coal!
 They used to take it out in little cars, then these machines were created to move the coal out of the mine faster.

 Roof stabilizer
 Explaining how they installed the roof stabilizer.

 Leaving the mine.
 Visiting the coal camp.  Camps were set up around the mines.  The mining company provided housing for workers and their families, but it was at an expense that came out of their checks.
This was a typical miners family home.
 This is script.  They were paid in a special currency that could only be spent at a mining store. The prices were high, and many families never really were able to pay off their debt for basic needs.
 Old refrigerator
 The living room

 Bedroom area, my grandparents had a bed like that.

 The privy

 The Bachelor's home

 The Superintendent's home.  He had a large, nice home.

 They had a mailroom set up to see.
 This was a typical coal camp schoolroom.
 Rockin' the dunce cap

 Checking out video projectors
Caty thought the copy machine was cool!
 They also had an 1800s log cabin area set up.

 This was a neat experience.  I was a little upset that you had to pay to tour the entire property, even if you only wanted a mine tour.  There was a small children's museum on the property.  We briefly walked in there, but it was really small.  I do warn you, this was extremely expensive for a large family.  But we all found it an interesting thing to experience.

I would recommend a visit.  Pack a picnic and plan a few hours to explore.

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