Traveling Coal Exhibit to Visit Mercer County

For Immediate Release: 
Jul 09 2002

Traveling Coal Exhibit to Visit Mercer County

Athens, W.Va. - "Black Diamonds: The Southern West Virginia Coal Story," a traveling exhibit designed by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, will be on display at the Concord College Ballroom July 17 and July 18, 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. The public is invited to attend and admission is free.

"Black Diamonds" travels to schools and communities across the state to give students and other visitors an opportunity to learn about the history of the coal industry in southern West Virginia and to explore the miner’s life under ground. The 400-square-foot, hands-on exhibit offers a glimpse into the earliest days of the industry, focusing on the physical demands of mining coal by hand. Stations feature a simulated pickax, auger and shovel, allowing visitors to try their hand at preparing a charge (explosives) and shoveling coal. An accompanying video of recollections by early coal miners and a collection of period photographs help illustrate the many faces of the southern coalfields.

The exhibit is sponsored in cooperation with the West Virginia Division of Tourism, and the National Coal Heritage Area.

For more information about the exhibit’s appearance in Mercer County, call Darrell Taylor, Concord College Math & Science Upward Bound Director.

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. Visit the Division’s website at www.wvculture.org for more information about programs of the Division.

One of 23 National Heritage Areas in the country, the National Coal Heritage Area was created by federal legislation in 1999 to preserve, protect and interpret lands, structures and communities with significant historic and cultural value associated with coal mining in West Virginia. The area encompasses 11 counties in southern West Virginia including Boone, Cabell, Fayette, Logan, McDowell, Mercer, Mingo, Raleigh, Summers, Wayne and Wyoming.

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Concord College Notes: Persons with disabilities should contact Rick Dillon, 1-304-384-5276 or Alice Dillon, 1-304-384-5177, if special accommodations are required for this event.