We live within 7 miles of Tour-Ed but have never taken a tour. We were very surprised at the quality and attention to detail for our entire experience. The owners are very nice people and they both present the tour with complimentary information. There is a museum with antiques and mining equipment where the tour starts. You hear stories about how the early mining companies manipulated the miners and their families so that the miners were barely more than indentured servants. There are many artifacts such as would be found in a company store.
The second part of the tour is called "mining school". The other owner who is a retired mining safety inspector takes you into a classroom where you learn about mining hazards, safety and rescue, all with demonstrations of actual equipment. It was much more interesting than I am describing it.
The last part of the tour is in the mine. Everyone wears a mining helmet and climbs into the narrow and low mining personnel carriers. The owner then drives the vehicle about 1/4 mile into the mine where there are several pieces of functional mining equipment showing different methods of coal extraction over the past 200 years. All the equipment is demonstrated in working condition and I found the time passed very quickly, there was so much to see. Finally we rode back to the surface on the same personnel carriers with a new appreciation for those who work in deep mines.
Prices were reasonable, we paid about $8 per person. There is a discount for children. The children in our party under the age of 8 were not as interested in some of the parts of the tour, finding it boring, but the 10yo and up were as fascinated as the adults.
The mine is only open in the summer months except by special arrangement. Film crews have used the mine for "My Bloody Valentine" and the Que Creek documentary. Scout groups and field trips also are welcome at any time with prior arrangement.
The mine is not accessible for those guests in a wheelchair. This is due to the nature of the attraction.
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