Traveling the two Virginias: Pocahontas Exhibition Coal Mine & - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Traveling the two Virginias: Pocahontas Exhibition Coal Mine & Museum

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Pocahontas, VA (WVVA)--The Town of Pocahontas is home to a National Landmark that gives visitors the chance to step into what was once a working coal mine.

Each step of the guided tour takes visitors back in time, demonstrating the struggles miners faced, and the vast progress the industry has made.

When it comes to sharing the history of coal mining Raymond Comer is the man for the job, with forty years of experience working in the mines.  "The coal mining all started right here, and that's what I like to show them," said Raymond Comer.

The Pocahontas Coal Mine dates back to 1882, in 1938 it transitioned to a "show mine." Raymond's spent fourteen seasons leading visitors out of the bright summer sun and into the cool dark mine.  Comer adds, "I give tours to people from all over the world here. And I like it, and I meet a lot of good people."

Visitors from as far as Russia have toured the historic mine.  Raymond laughed as he admitted tours are occasionally lost in translation.  "Seems like they do pretty good, until they get to listening to the way I talk, but they get to trying to interpret the way I talk."

Raymond began life as a Coal Miner in 1955 working for U.S. steel, even as a young man he says the work was extremely tough especially when it came to pushing the coal out in a wheelbarrow.  "You'd look down at your heart sometimes, and you'd think it was going to come out your shirt," Comer said.

A thirteen foot seam of glistening coal surrounds each guest, and along the way exhibits display the progression of coal mining.  Comer said, "We can take you all the way up from the Handloader to the Continuous Miner in the coal mine." "If I went in the mine I wouldn't know nothing about it, so it changes continuously, it always seemingly gets better and better."

 A peek into the past, to better understand the future of coal.

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