Exhibition Coal Mine Museum, Beckley, WV

Originally this was the Phillips-Sprague Mine, opened in 1889. In addition to the museum with a lot of mining equipment and paraphernalia, there is an underground tour of a portion of the original coal mine. Riding in a rickety converted coal train is fun, the claustrophobia isn’t. In places the coal seam is so thin that the mining was relegated to children. The guide was a retired coal miner who certainly knew his stuff, but his diction (even accounting for the West Virginia accent) leads to suspicion of inhaling too much coal gas while mining. Next to the museum are a collection of restored buildings including a church, a school, and a home.