Milliken2012 travel blog

Superintendants house

Superintendants dining room

School house

School room

one ton car

We spent the first night on the road in NC at VanHoy Farm Campground in Union Grove NC.

Tues. we proceeded to Beckley WV to tour a coal mine that is not working today but is set up for educational tours. This was a challenge as we were driving the coach and the Garmin took us to where we could see the parking lot but the only way to get there was to go down a one way ramp - luckily no traffic coming against us. The mine was operated between 1890 and 1910 and there was a whole mining camp there including housing for the workers, for the superintendant, a schoolhouse, company store and everything else needed.

The coal seam was only about 30" high off the floor of the mine and the total height of the tunnel was only about 48". The miners went into the mine on scooters that they knelt on and scooted with one foot. They then had to lay down on their sides to use their picks to cut a hole to put the dynamite charges into. After blasting which loosened about 4 tons of coal, they loaded the coal into train cars and got paid $0.25/ton or 2000 lbs of coal loaded. They earned maybe $1.00/day.

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