The southern Appalachian region was built on the back of coal. Generations of miners blasted their way into the mountainsides of Appalachia on their quest for rich veins of black diamonds and, wherever that treasure was found, communities sprang up around them. These company towns, or coal camps, were entirely self-sufficient. There were company houses, company stores, hospitals, churches, dance halls, even baseball teams. This exhibit examines the culture of coal in Appalachia—the towns built by the coal companies and the lives of the people who called those towns home.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website