POCAHONTAS, VA (WOAY) – A piece of Pocahontas’s history will be open to the public once again. The Pocahontas Exhibition Mine will welcome visitors beginning July 11th.
The mine underwent major improvements after receiving two grants from the Abandoned Mine Land Pilot Program administered by the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy. The improvements forced the site to close for two seasons.
“We are so excited to once again welcome visitors to Pocahontas’s Exhibition Mine,” said Mayor Benjamin Gibson. “Improvements made will make the experience for visitors so much more and I believe this will directly result in more people coming to visit this unique tourist site.”
The town received $1.5 million in 2018 for safety improvements inside the mine and to turn the bathhouse and community room into restaurant space. In 2019, $379,178 was awarded from the Pilot Program for more changes at the Exhibition Mine. Soon, visitors will be able to ride through the mine and the town as they did when the Pocahontas Exhibition Mine first opened. Industrial restaurant equipment will also be purchased so those enjoying the historic site can grab a bite to eat on-site.
A grand opening will be held later this year. Visitors should be aware some improvements are still underway and will be completed later this year. The mine is open Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. and Sundays 1o am. to 4 p.m. Groups of 12 or more should call 276-945-9522 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a tour of the Exhibition Mine and to visit the walking trail.
The Pocahontas mine was the first in southwest Virginia. Coal mined there served the U.S. Navy through two World Wars. It employed hundreds of citizens and immigrants until its closure in 1958.