Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine and Youth Museum

Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine and Youth Museum: Hours, Address, Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine and Youth Museum Reviews: 4.5/5

Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine and Youth Museum

Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine and Youth Museum
4.5
Speciality Museums • Mines
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10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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About
As focal points of Beckley’s lovely New River Park, the Exhibition Coal Mine, the Rahall Company Store, Mine Museum and the Youth Museum of Southern West Virginia 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 tasks of past and present day miners. In addition to the Mine, one can tour the Mine Museum and the period coal camp situated throughout the grounds.
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
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4.5
774 reviews
Excellent
554
Very good
181
Average
32
Poor
5
Terrible
2

Ward D
Satellite Beach, FL2,310 contributions
Oct 2021
What a great place. Be sure to check if it is open. I believe that we had one of the last tours for the season. We picked this place thinking that we would learn about the coal mining industry history in West Virginia. We did! You pay $15/person and that allows you access to the museum, grounds and a ride through the museum on the coal mine car. The main structure is a large 2 story house converted to a museum with the bottom floor as a store and the upstairs as a museum. This is also where you pay for entrance. The ride goes off on a regular basis and is accessed through the back of the main house. The ride into the mine was excellent. The tour guide was a real coal miner and answered all our questions and was the most honest person I had met. The ride stops at several places to show various sites in the mine. You may have a challenge if you are claustrophobic or afraid of the dark. At the end of the rid you are returned to the starting point. We wandered the other sites on the ground. There are several other structures with signs and placards explaining their uses. We ended up looking at the museum last (on the second floor of the main house). The buildings are still in good condition and allow you to see what life was like. Museum is very nice. You could spend hours there and still not see it all. Staff was excellent, price was reasonable and it was a great visit. I learned a lot. I highly recommend this site to any of my fellow travelers to understand coal mining and much of the history behind it for this seam (Sewell coal seam). Enjoy!
Written November 11, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Bruin74
Providence Forge, VA53 contributions
Jun 2021
I grew up in California and knew nothing about coal mining. The Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine tour was very educational and well worth the price of admission. The mine tour was provided by Gerald who actually worked the mines as an inspector so the explanation of mine life was very real and interesting. We visited after hiking the Kaymore Mine Trail at New River Gorge and I truly have a better appreciation for what we saw at the ruins at Kaymore. The mine tour is part of an actual mine so it is interesting for both young and old alike. After the mine tour you can visit examples of the housing of a coal town. There is also an excellent Heritage Village behind the Youth Museum that displays a pre-mining days town with wood cabins that were moved and rebuilt here. Very interesting!

The attraction is owned by the City of Beckley and has many volunteers working there. Everyone is so nice and many were willing to volunteer details of their lives in the mining town of Beckley. I could feel the sense of a close community here that you do not find in the large cities.
Written June 19, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

TexasMomTW
Hot Springs, AR341 contributions
Jun 2021
We arrived a few minutes before the Visitor Center opened at 10 AM, and there were enough guests lined up that they offered us a 10 AM train ride instead of having to wait until 10:30. The train ride into the coal mine was very informative and a fun experience. Try to get seats in the center of the train so it will be easier to see the displays. Our tour guide, Gerold (?) was knowledgeable, easy to understand, interesting, organized and energetic, and gave us a good sense of the miners’ jobs, equipment, working conditions and lives. We then walked around their Coal Camp, museum, gift shop, youth museum and Mountain Homestead. All of the attractions were excellent, and the attendants in the various buildings were helpful, knowledgeable and engaging, too!
Written July 12, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

JulieBean
Neosho, MO71 contributions
Oct 2020
We went near the end of the season -- late October. Because of COVID the underground mine tour was closed. Instead we sat in a shed watching a TV screen that showed a miner explaining what we should have seen on the tour. Problem was, the video suddenly stopped, went black and then restarted from the beginning. We had watched 15 minutes already and it started over. All the guy could say was that they controlled the video from the city and he couldn't do anything about it. WHAT?
We walked around the buildings and inside the small museum... Definitely NOT worth the money without the tour. The fee was reduced to $10 each (usually $12) Do they think the tour is only worth $2?
I wish we could have had the full experience, because it would have been much more enlightening and educational.
Written November 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

BeemMeUp
Peoria, IL59 contributions
Apr 2022
The underground rail car tour of the coal mine, led by a former miner, the visit to the "coal camp" buildings, where we were able to speak with docents, and the Museum itself, provided an extremely educational and fascinating experience. Going in, I was concerned that this place would be propaganda for the coal mining companies. To the contrary, the former miner and the docents were all very candid in explaining how badly the companies have treated the miners and their families.

The experience was also sobering, as our miner guide told us how his father and brothers had died of Black Lung Disease. He had survived only by wearing a respirator, for which he was teased. Most of his contemporaries have either passed on or are using supplemental oxygen and collecting Black Lung checks.

That is the sad and tragic reality of this industry.

This is a not-to-be-missed experience if you are in Beckley.
Written April 17, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jeffrey E
Wintersville3 contributions
May 2022
Includes a nice museum with coal mining artifacts and displays and a village of relocated buildings from area coal towns which help to show what life was like in coal towns of the past. The main attraction is a ride into part of an old mine on transport cars operated by a retired miner. The mine has been somewhat modified for safety and to include instructional displays for the visitor, which, coupled with the vivid and often personal narration by the operator, make make an enjoyable and educational experience for adults and kids.
Written May 29, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Anthony D
Portage, MI3 contributions
Jul 2021 • Friends
The coal mine tour, and additional features including actual buildings from a coal town, make this a must see for those wanting to understand coal mining history of West Virginia.

Our guide Gerald worked 45 years in area mines, and his experience, knowledge and humor made our tour most memorable. Well worth the cost! (Bring a jacket, as the mine is 58 degrees F).
Written June 30, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

HeatherE77
Indiana81 contributions
Apr 2021
This was a unique West Virginia experience for us to do as a family. We were fortunate that the coal mine tour had just reopened as this really made the attraction worthwhile. It was so beneficial to get to see inside an actual mine and learn about how mining has changed over 100 years.

The coal town and pioneer village were neat, but fairly quick to go through. Our kids (ages 7 and 3) loved the Thomas attraction at the Youth Museum. After over two hours at the museums, we ate our picnic lunch here as well; there were plenty of picnic tables on the grounds.

I substracted one star for our tour guide not wearing a mask—this is a health risk especially in a enclosed environment without good ventilation. Guests were required to wear masks, but one person on our tour removed his--probably seeing that the guide couldn't care less. I would hate to see this tour have to close again, since it just started running.
Written April 19, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Amy B
4 contributions
Oct 2021
We were surprised by how much we learned about coal mining here. We had an excellent guide, Don, who entertained us with coal mining songs and personal stories from the mining experience. He was really great. We ended up spending much longer than we thought we would, looking into the houses and the museum. Definitely worth a visit!
Written October 16, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

blkitty
PA25 contributions
May 2022
The underground mine tour is excellent! Our guide, Gerald was very good and interesting. He is a retired miner, and knew so much about the mine, and how things were in the mine over the years. There were a lot of visual aids and that made the tour even better.
There were also buildings that the miners would have lived in, as well as a school and supervisor's house.
Also, included were a series of log cabin buildings, and our guide Sherry did a great job showing and explaining all the buildings to us.
This attraction is well worth the time and cost. Do not miss it!!
Written May 6, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine and Youth Museum

Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine and Youth Museum is open:
  • Sun - Sat 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM