To our Salute to 

Underground Coal Mining

in southwest Virginia


 
Finally!
 


This page is brought to you by the Osborne/Cantrell families from Pound, Virginia.

If you wonder why people remain in the small towns of  southwest Virginia - take a look at the view from my front porch!
 

The pace of life is a little slower in this area of Virginia, but the quality of life is exceptional.  With every season bringing different colors to the mountains, the slower pace leaves us time to enjoy Mother Nature!
 
 

 Life was hard for earlier generations living in the Appalachian Mountains of Southwest Virginia. Many men began working in underground coal mines to support their families.

My family has a long history of coal mining in Southwest Virginia.  My Great Grandfather worked as a blacksmith tending the mules at an underground mine.  In the early days coal was transported outside the mine by mules.  My Grandfather Cantrell started working in an underground mine in 1922, at the age of 16, and brought home $3.40 a day.  He continued working underground until he retired in 1962.  My Father started working underground in 1955 at the age of 18.  After 40 years he retired from underground mining in 1995.  All three of my brothers started working underground between the ages of 18-20.  My husband has also worked in an underground coal mine for approximately 23 years and continues to do so at this time.  His brother and father were also underground miners for many years.  Today's coal miner makes on average $150.00 a day.

Underground mining is still a means of survival for many families in the area.  Due to our remote location, other industry is limited at the present time.  Many families have several members working in underground coal mines.

Coal is Virginia's most valuable mineral resource.  The value of the Virginia coal produced annually is more than one billion dollars.  Virginia ranks among the top ten coal producing states in the United States.
 

If you would like to see what it looks like inside an underground coal mine - check out these working conditions by clicking on the photograph below!

 



ORIGIN OF COAL
UNDERGROUND PHOTOS
 YES, THE DREADED FAMILY PAGE!
COAL TERMS
AND PHRASES
COAL SEAMS
STATISTICS
MAP OF UNDER-
GROUND MI NE



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*Geologic map and information obtained from Division of Mines, Minerals and Energy publications*