Guided Tours of Old Midlothian Coal Sites This Weekend
Chesterfield County Parks and Recreation is offering a rare glimpse into one of the strangest chapters of Midlothian history this weekend…Charles Fishburne reports.
Midlothian was once the coal-mining capital of North America, and the very land under many Chesterfield subdivisions is criss-crossed by old mine shafts dug deep into the earth.
Truzzie: Vertical shafts that ran over 600 to 700 feet straight down.
Bryan Truzzie is a county historian who says that coal was critical in both the American Revolution and the Civil War.
Truzzie: They were shipping coal all the way to Washington and New York City and Boston.
Bituminous coal gave way to harder, cleaner-burning coal and the industry moved to Southwest Virginia and beyond, but the industry left its mark.
Truzzie: A lot of these shafts were dug by hand; the Grove shaft literally took three years and 150 men.
You can retrace the steps of Virginia’s pioneering coal industry this Sunday with a guided tour. It's eight dollars and advance registration is required. Call 748-1623 for details.
Charles Fishburne, WCVE News