Pocahontas Exhibition Coal Mine

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.

Pocahontas Exhibition Coal Mine
Pocahontas Exhibition Coal Mine - Portal.jpg
Mine portal
Pocahontas Exhibition Coal Mine is located in Virginia
Pocahontas Exhibition Coal Mine
Pocahontas Exhibition Coal Mine is located in the United States
Pocahontas Exhibition Coal Mine
LocationRt. 659, Reedsville Hollow Rd., Pocahontas, Virginia
Coordinates37°18′29″N 81°20′59″W / 37.30806°N 81.34972°W / 37.30806; -81.34972Coordinates: 37°18′29″N 81°20′59″W / 37.30806°N 81.34972°W / 37.30806; -81.34972
Built1883
NRHP reference No.94001651
VLR No.092-0011-0284
Significant dates
Added to NRHPOctober 12, 1994[2]
Designated NHLDOctober 12, 1994[3]
Designated VLRMarch 19, 1997[1]

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.[4]

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.

It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1994.[3][5]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Virginia Landmarks Register". Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Retrieved 5 June 2013.
  2. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. January 23, 2007.
  3. ^ a b "Pocahontas Exhibition Coal Mine". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Archived from the original on 2011-06-06. Retrieved 2008-04-23.
  4. ^ John W. Bond (October 22, 1993). "National Historic Landmark Nomination: Pocahontas Mine No. 1 / Baby Mine/Pocahontas Exhibition Mine" (pdf). National Park Service. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help) and Accompanying three photos, from 1993 (32 KB)
  5. ^ John W. Bond (October 22, 1993). "National Historic Landmark Nomination: Pocahontas Mine No. 1 / Baby Mine/Pocahontas Exhibition Mine" (PDF). National Park Service. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help) (this version at Virginia DHR includes topographical map identifying mine location)

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