APR to MAY Sat 10-17, Sun 13-17.
JUN to SEP Wed-Sat 10-17, Sun 13-17.
Mine: Adults USD 8.50, Children (6-12) USD 5.50, Children (0-5) free.
Groups (12+): reductions.
Pocahontas Exhibition Coal Mine, Tel: +1-276-945-2134.
Town of Pocahontas, 300 Centre Street, Post Office Box 128, Pocahontas, Virginia 24635-0128, Tel: +1-276-945-9522, Fax: +1-276-945-9904.
|Last update:||$Date: 2013/04/25 23:05:11 $|
|1860||first local coal used in a blacksmith shop.|
|1883||first company store built.|
|1895||opera house built.|
|1938||Pocahontas Exhibition Mine and Museum opened.|
Pocahontas Coal Mine was the first mine in the Pocahontas Coalfield, opened in 1882 by the Southwest Improvement Company. Here the famous Pocahontas Number Three coal was mined, a spectacular 4.30m tall coal seam. During its 73 years of operation the mine produced 44 million tons of coal.
The name Pocahontas was chosen in honor of the Indian princess who had saved the life of Captain John Smith. This well known story was the theme of a Walt Disney movie some years ago. The coal seam, the mine and the nearby town are named Pocahontas.
The town was built by the miners which moved to this area to work in the coal fields. Many of them were European immigrants, coming from Hungaria, Wales, Russia, Poland, Italy, Germany, or Ireland. At first the coal was loaded by hand and thus the mine provided a lot of work.
The Pocahontas Exhibition Mine and Museum was opened as early as 1938, in a time when coal was still mined. It was the first show mine in the U.S.A. In 1955 the coal was worked out and the mine was closed.
Until the mid-1950s, visitors could drive their cars through the mine, but then government regulations changed. Today the mine is visited in underground walking tours, led by a guide. The Pocahontas Operators Association reserved 290m of the original coal seam as an exhibit. The tour explains the dangerous and difficult labor miners faced.
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