One of the themes of New River Gorge National River is: With the completion of the railroad in 1873 came an economical means of getting West Virginia's rich natural resources to market. Vast quantities of timber could be harvested and much logging was done to help build the nation. More important; however, for the area's economy was the opening of coal mines along the New River Gorge. The growing American industrial complex was steam powered at this time, and coal was the chief fossil fuel. International markets also were developed. This is the basis of our educational coal mining programs. The ranger will discuss with the students their connection to coal, what is coal, how coal is mined, the uses of coal and/or coal and the environment. This will be accomplished by touring the site, hands-on activities with equipment, role playing, and discussion.
Burnwood, Canyon Rim, and Grandview
5th – 8th
Coal Mining Overview
Coal and coal mining in New River Gorge have played an important role in local and national history.
1. Define coal and describe the process of mining coal
2. Describe a coal mining town in New River Gorge
3. List uses for coal now and in the past
Kaymoor, A Coal Town
River Towns in New River Gorge
Books to Share with Children
Additional Resources for Teachers
WV Content Standards met:
History/Social Sciences - SS.4.4.6, SS.WV.3.1, SS.WV.3.2, SS.WV.4.4, SS.WV.4.6, SS.WV.4.8, SS.WV.5.2, SS.WV.5.3, SS.5.3.5, SS.5.4.9, SS.5.5.4
Did You Know?
Over one million visitors come to New River Gorge National River each year. Park rangers assist visitors and help them better understand the park and the park resources.