|Location:||Montevallo. West of Montevallo, Alabama on County Road 10 towards Aldrich. Turn left after the railroad on County Road 203. (33° 6'27.67"N, 86°53'33.16"W)|
|Open:||All year Thu-Sat 10-16, Sun 13-16. Other times by appointment. |
|Fee:||Adults USD 5, Children USD 3. |
|Address:||Aldrich Coal Mine Museum Inc, 137 Highway 203, Montevallo, AL 35115, Tel: +1-205-665-2886. Henry and Rose Emfinger, Owners.|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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|1830||first coal mined in Alabama near Tuscaloosa.|
|1870||start of coal mining at Montevallo.|
|1872||Truman Aldrich from New York acquired the Montevallo Mining Company and began mining at Aldrich.|
|1950's||all mines closed.|
The Cahaba River Basin Field around Shelby County and parts of Bibb had a high grade coal which was used both for heating and steel production.
The Aldrich Coal Mine Museum is housed in a building which once was the company store of the former Montevallo Coal Mining Company. This was a store where miners bought their goods, clothes, food, tools, anything they needed for daily life. Goods were bought on credit and paid off in labor, which resulted in a sort of slavery, an extreme dependency of the miner. There is a famous spiritual or blues song, which tells about this:
The museum displays coal mining memorabilia and an extensive collection of pictures of the town of Aldrich, Alabama during its peak coal mining days. There is mining equipment on display and a simulated 30m long coal mine slope named Rajah Slope. Fossils which are frequently found in the biogene coal are shown too.
Montevallo Mining Company was acquired by Truman Aldrich from New York in 1872. He started mining at the place which is now named Aldrich after him. His brother William Farrington Aldrich and wife lived at Aldrich and managed the company. In 1905 William sold his part of the mine to Truman and left. The neighbouring building, Farrington Hall, built by Mr. and Mrs. William Farrington Aldrich, also belongs to the museum. It houses many personal items of the Aldrich family and an enormous number of photographs.