Museum to serve as unifier for history of coal mining, miners – by Eddie Trizzino (Times West Virginian – December 12, 2019)

FAIRMONT – Curators of Fairmont’s coal mining museum will unveil the first phase of an expansion project this weekend along with hosting a Coal Miners Swap Meet.

Located on the third floor of the Arts and Antiques Marketplace at 205 Adams St., the coal mining museum is more than doubling in size to represent the coal history of Monongalia, Harrison, Preston, Taylor and Barbour counties alongside its current Marion County exhibit.

“We’re dedicating some space to each of the Fairmont field counties,” said Mike Rohaly, president of the Northern Appalachian Coal Mining Heritage Association. “We would like to get there, have a little bit more cohesion between our six counties.”

Rohaly will also move some equipment currently on display at the Coal Country Mini Golf course, which he owns, to serve as part of the museum expansion. He also said area historical societies have offered to contribute to the space as well.

Rohaly said the new owners of the Arts and Antiques Marketplace are excited about the museum expansion and are also helping with procuring items. “I wanted to be able to expand that area just to share our love for history and our area’s love for history,” said Dominick Claudio, founder and CEO of Claudio Corp., which purchased the Adams Street building earlier this year. “I think it’s going to be a great place to bring people together to educate about the history of our state.”

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