Tazewell County attraction receives $1.5 million grant - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Tazewell County attraction receives $1.5 million grant

Pocahontas, VA (WVVA) -

The nation's first exhibition coal mine received a big financial boost on Friday.

U.S. Rep. Morgan Griffith traveled to Tazewell County and announced a $1.5 million grant for the Pocahontas Exhibition Mine.

“Plenty of communities throughout Southwest Virginia coal country have abandoned mine lands that must be cleaned up and improved before they can be used to their fullest potential," said Rep. Griffith. "Today’s announcement shows how these Abandoned Mine Land Pilot Program funds can be put to good use. With money from the program, the Pocahontas Exhibition Mine will be improved for future use and enjoyment by Southwest Virginia residents and tourists, bringing important economic development to the region. I look forward to the opportunities created in Pocahontas and elsewhere through this vital program.”

The Pocahontas No. 1 Mine, as it was once named, opened in 1882.  In 1938, it became the first exhibition coal mine in the U.S. For more than 30 years visitors were allowed to drive through it. But the practice was stopped because vehicle exhaust was damaging the roof of the mine.

The mine and museum is owned by the Town of Pocahontas, Virginia. Click here to learn more.

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