The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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April 1, 2013

Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine opens

BECKLEY — Although Beckley’s Exhibition Coal Mine officially opens today, more than 150 people visited this past weekend and around 60 people attended the annual Easter sunrise service Sunday, said Leslie Baker, director of operations.

“We had so many calls from people coming through on spring break, we did not want to disappoint anyone and opened a little early, on Friday,” she said. “We have seen about 60 people each day, and that is 60 people we would have disappointed if we had not opened.”

Visitors have a new selection of items to chose from in the gift shop this year, including some coal jewelry and coal charms, said Baker.

Also new are some gift lines by newly featured West Virginian artists.

In addition, the youth museum has a new exhibit in honor of the state’s sesquicentennial.

The exhibit, sponsored by the West Virginia Sesquicentennial Commission, is called “Liberty on the Border.”

“It is not like many Civil War exhibits that focus on the combatants. ‘Liberty on the Border’ focuses on how the war affected families, particularly women and children,” she explained.

The exhibit will be in the youth museum through August.

“We’ve made a lot of changes and are preparing for a really busy summer,” she explained.

Boy Scouts working on service projects in the area must also complete a cultural component. The Exhibition Coal Mine will serve as that component for many Scouts. Baker said as many as 200 per day are expected to visit the museum in mid-July.

For more information on the Exhibition Coal Mine or to schedule an excursion, visit http://www .beckley.org/exhibition_ coal_mine/ or call 304-256-1747.

— E-mail: splummer@register-herald.com

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