Coal Mining

historic photo of coal miners
Program Description
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.

Available at:
Burnwood, Canyon Rim, and Grandview

Grade Level:
5th – 8th

Program Length:
1 hour

Background Materials:
Coal Mining Overview

Coal and coal mining in New River Gorge have played an important role in local and national history.

Instructional Objectives:

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

Pre-visit activities:
Black Gold
Kaymoor, A Coal Town

Post-visit activities:
River Towns in New River Gorge
Edible Geology
Mining Coal

More Information:
Books to Share with Children
Additional Resources for Teachers

History/Social Sciences

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

Last updated: October 12, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 246, 104 Main Street
Glen Jean, WV 25846


(304) 465-0508

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