Coal Mining Heritage Association of Montgomery County
there are many other coal mining sites in Montgomery County,
the Coal Mining Heritage Park at Merrimac is the most visible
reminder of this industrial past. The park is
both an outdoor science laboratory and nature center for area
archaeological museum. Whether your interest is the cultural
past, the natural past, or a present influenced by both cultural
and natural forces, the Coal Mining Heritage Park offers something
to pique your curiosity.
played a key
role in the mining history of the New River Valley. It was
one of the largest semi-anthracite coal mines
in the Valley Coal Field of Virginia. Merrimac has roots going
back to the Civil War, when it was the site of a confederate
mining colliery (a coal mining operation with housing for the
miners). Supposedly, the site became known as Merrimac because
the mine supplied coal to fuel the Ironclad Merrimac in its battle
with the U.S.S. Monitor during the Civil War. The real heyday
of Merrimac was in the early twentieth century, until the mine
closed in 1935 (the management shut the mine rather than compromise
with labor demands).
its heyday, the site of Merrimac was alive with activity. The
industrial complex included the mine and numerous buildings
used to carry out mining operations. Though little of this past
is in evidence today, people are working to make this past
alive to park visitors and Huckleberry Trail users.
Coal Mining Heritage Association meets the first Monday of
each month at alternate sites. Please use the contact information
at right for more information.