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“Real coal mine”

Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine and Youth Museum
Ranked #1 of 13 things to do in Beckley
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: As the 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. 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. Adjacent to the Exhibition Mine, the Youth Museum of Southern West Virginia is open to the public year round. The central exhibit area features an average of three different interactive exhibits yearly. Group tours include a visit to the Museum’s Planetarium. Behind the Museum’s main building, stands the Mountain Homestead. Developed to enrich history studies, guides tell the stirring story West Virginian’s hearty pioneer settlers as they interpret the restored log cabin, one room schoolhouse, barn, weaver’s shed, general store, moonshine still and blacksmith shop.
Reviewed September 16, 2013 via mobile

The tour of the coal mine, actually go into a coal mine tour is very good. The tour guide has a fantastic sense of humor and very knowledgeable.

The Museum itself is very modest. Very well maintained building. Beautiful park next to the building. I think the admission price is a bit steep.

Very friendly folks.

1  Thank Nevdeep G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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395 - 399 of 519 reviews

Reviewed September 3, 2013

My wife and I decided to take the hour drive up from our vacation spot in Virginia to visit a real coal mine. The Exhibition Mine was recommended to us and it did not disappoint us. The grounds were well kept and the coal camp buildings were interesting to tour but the star of the show was the mine and the mine guide. Our guide, Kenny, was a coal miner and had a lot of great information about the history of coal mining. His descriptions were fascinating and he was very funny. Be sure to take a jacket with you since the mine is quite chilly.

Thank RabyFamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 24, 2013

My only complaint was that the underground tour of the mine, led by a retired miner chock full of information, was so interesting, I wish it were longer. This is a fascinating look at the difficulty miners faced and the grueling nature of the industry throughout history. The aboveground bachelor's shanty, family home, and supervisor's mansion (all real buildings, but relocated from somewhere else to simulate the company town that was once here) also provide an education in how people lived, how they suffered, and the inequity of the labor. There's also a church and school house. Definitely worth a drive to Beckley.

1  Thank virginiawriter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 23, 2013

I was very disappointed with this mine. I have toured a gold mine and iron mine before. At one time this was a real mine however; it has been significantly modified in order to give tours. The equipment within the mine is not displayed well. It is difficult to see due to the support timbers of the mine, in addition much of it is heavily rusted (understandable so due to moisture in the mine). The equipment is not set up as if it were in use and the tour guide failed to effectively explain the equipment.

My recommendation, if you want to see what coal mining is like, go to the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry. Although it is a re-creation, it is very well done with working equipment.

Thank Tom N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 20, 2013

Enjoyed the tour of the mine.An authentic miner is your tour guide, ours- Marvin- shared stories and opinions.He made the tour worthwhile. The buildings are interesting however some buildings like the supervisors house suffers from too many time periods being mish-mashed together.

Thank Maureen A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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