Coal Mining in Montgomery County


October 10  until December 31


November 9 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.  See also the  Coal Mining-Theme Art Show

“The whole mountain back there was full of coal.”

-William Odock Fisher, coal miner and son of a coal miner

Merrimac Mine (1871) Photo Credit: D.D. Lester Collection

The first recorded discovery of coal in Montgomery County was in 1750. Coal mining became an important industry with production peaking in the first half of the twentieth century. The mines were one of the few places for off-farm employment in the New River Valley before 1940. Equally important, coal mining was a way of life for generations of county residents.

Explore Montgomery County’s coal mines and how the hard work of the miners and their families created local communities in this new exhibit. A celebration of the exhibit will be held on November 9, 2023 from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. The exhibit, featured in the museum’s main lobby, will be on display from early October through the end of the year.

This history exhibit will include many historic local coal mining objects donated in memory of Dudley Scott by his widow, Faye. Mr. Scott was a coal miner in this area, and was interviewed for the book Keepers of the Tradition. His portrait, painted by local artist Leslie Gregg for the book, will be included in the  Coal Mining-Theme Art Show  which will accompany the history exhibit!