Pocahontas Exhibition Coal Mine, Pocahontas
Categories: Tourist Spots, Mines
Pocahontas Exhibition Coal Mine, also known as Pocahontas Mine No. 1, or Baby Mine, is an inactive coal mine in the Pocahontas Coalfield, near Pocahontas in western Virginia. The mine was the first in the sub-bituminous coal of the Pocahontas Coalfield, opening in 1882. In 1938 it became the first exhibition coal mine in the United States. Uniquely, it was possible to drive one's automobile through the mine, entering through the fan opening and exiting through the original entry. The practice continued until 1970, when it was discontinued due to damage to the roof of the mine from car exhaust.The site is also notable for its history of coke production on site for transportation by rail to steel mills. Pocahontas coal was especially suitable for coking, and played a significant role in the industrial development of the United States. Coke and coal were shipped by rail to Norfolk, Virginia for trans-shipment to eastern US ports and overseas. Coking on the site was eventually discontinued, and the mine spoil pile now covers all but three beehive coking ovens.This mine, when active, supplied the United States Navy a majority of its coal through both world wars. Its smokeless quality allowed ships to go undetected from distances, thus giving the Navy an advantage over enemies. By the end of the second world war, coal in the "baby mine" was waning. technology was advancing and reducing the number of miners required to do the work and allowed for the creation of the exhibition mine. In 1955 mining ceased in Pocahontas altogether.By using our Pocahontas vacation trip planner, you can arrange your visit to Pocahontas Exhibition Coal Mine and other attractions in Pocahontas.
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Good easy stroll in a mine. Roomy enough and we'll lit. See relics and learn how things got done 4.5 stars. The navigator might take you on some interesting shortcuts. Don't go on empty tank.
This mine closed in 1954, but our tour guide worked in a mine nearby in the 70s and 80s. He was very informative. It is always cool and damp in here (50 or so). Tour takes about an hour, so bring a ja... read more »
Drove up from NC to visit this exhibition mine in the small, former coal mining town of Pocahontas, Virginia. Our guide, Mr. Miller, was a retired miner and was quite knowledgeable about the history o... read more »
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