The hands-on exhibitions and underground coal mining tour offer wonderful opportunities for our visitors to learn, explore, interact and share.
As the focal points of the City’s lovely New RiverPark, the Exhibition Coal Mine and the Youth Museum draw thousands of people to the area annually. The unique underground mine, the recreated coal camp, the Youth Museum and the Mountain Homestead are surrounded by inviting lawns, colorful flowers, picnic areas, an imposing coal miner statue and a whimsical 20 ft. “Peace Totem”.
At the Exhibition Coal Mine, one can ride through the dark passages of a vintage coal mine. The guides are veteran miners and provide firsthand accounts of the daily responsibilities and travail of past and present day miners.
In addition to the Mine, one can tour the period coal camp buildings situated throughout the grounds. Lovingly restored, the Coal Company House, Superintendent’s Home, Pemberton Coal Camp Church, and the Helen Coal Camp School, give visitors a true representation of early 20th century coal camp life.
The Exhibition Coal Mine operates on a seasonal schedule, opening on April 1 and closing November 2. Visitors are asked to bring a jacket because the temperature is always 58 degrees inside the Mine.
Adjacent to the Exhibition Mine, the Youth Museum of Southern West Virginia is open to the public year round and available at any time for pre-arranged tour groups.
TheYouth Museum’s central exhibit area features an average of three different interactive exhibits yearly. Group tours include a visit to the Museum’s Planetarium. Seasonal programs highlight constellations, visible planets and special celestial events.
Behind the Museum’s main building, stands the Mountain Homestead. Developed to enrich history studies, the Museum has recreated a typical settlement on the Appalachian frontier.
Trained interpreters explain the importance of each of the eight reconstructed historical building. Visit the weaver’s, the log house, and the one room schoolhouse and experience “readin’, writn’, and rithmatic’” as it used to be. The barn, blacksmith shop, and general store all help to complete this rich historical journey of the late 19th century.
One price encompasses all activities at both the Exhibition Mine and theYouth Museum. Group rates are available. Reservations are required for groups of ten or more. Walk-in tourists are always welcome.
The complex is located just 2 ½ miles from the Exit 44 exit of Interstate 77/64. Turn east on Rt. 3 (Harper Rd.) Go 1 1/2 miles to Ewart Ave. Make a left on Ewart Ave. and go 1 mile to the Mine Complex entrance. Call (304) 256-1747 for reservations.
To adequately visit the Mine, the Coal Camp, the Youth Museum and Mountain Homestead, visitors need to allow 2 to 2 ½ hours. Both the Exhibition Coal Mine and the Youth Museum have gift shops offering unique coal figurines, homemade fudge, traditional and educational toys, local crafts, and books.
Most tours begin on the hour and on the half hour.
Summer Hours: April 1 – November 1
Daily 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Winter Hours: Upon request
Source: Youth Museum of West Museum / Baret News Wire