Smithsonian representatives visit Pocahontas mine - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Smithsonian representatives visit Pocahontas mine

Pocahontas, VA (WVVA) -

A group from Washington, D-C, has been in the town of Pocahontas, Virginia for a few days now, but it had nothing to do with politics.

The Pocahontas Exhibition Mine has been playing host to representatives from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History for several days now. The museum is currently remodeling their Fossil Hall, which hasn't seen much change since it opened in 1913. Curator Scott Wing explains what the theme of the new exhibit will be. "It's going to be, really, laid out according to time. So it starts at the beginning, and goes to the end."
When the new exhibit opens in 2019, the museum wanted to feature coal they believe is 320 million years old. "This is what we're here for, at the Pocahontas Exhibition Mine, is to film part of a video that is about how coal forms."
So exhibit developers brought a film crew with them to produce a mini-documentary that will play at the new exhibit in DC. But mine manager Jamie Cartwright says the first crew from the Smithsonian actually visited in October. "They had a crew that came in to do some molding and casting for the exhibit. They were a great group of guys."
One of the features that a mold was made of is the widow maker, a petrified tree stump in the ceiling, covered by a thin layer of coal. Though the opening of the exhibit is still at least a year away, Councilwoman Suzanne Brinegar is excited about the publicity it could bring. "It's taking a part of our little town back to Washington, DC, to share with everyone. So it's really exciting."

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