#9 mine " let's not forget our past"
Posted in the Farmington Forum
#1 Nov 24, 2010
As a young boy I grew up in a small mining camp simply named for the big mine #9
Even in the early years of my youth I had an interest in the mining that took place around me and under my feet
Not saying im young not saying im old but the history of mining coal from the hills of just outside of Farmington West Virginia a little I know
Im proud to say my Dad and his four brothers for many years has worked as miners in #9
My uncle Joe who I would never know lost his life in 1954 mining coal in this same mine
Mining even in modern time has always been a dangerous way of making a living
Even so #9 was considered to be state of the art and one of the safest mines around
From the opening in 1909 it was noted that this was a gaseous hole in the ground
A great number of advanced ventilation systems kept flow in this big mine in check
Mine inspectors did routine tours making sure the mine was up to federal specs.
Safety of the miners from 1909 through 1930 was not at the top of the company list
Coal was needed for this growing country and it was not a concern how it was got
From the teens through 1930 working conditions and pay was very poor for miners During world war one coal was needed in large amounts for the worlds naval ships Into the 20ís these miners did not see much of a change in safe conditions or pay #9 ceased the production of coal from 1930 through 1933, tons of coal was surly missed
A change of hands, modernization and a focus on the safety of the miners came with time
Through the later half of the 30ís coal production rose to record tonnage from this mine
Into the 40ís with world war two on the way more coal was needed half a world away
After Pearl Harbor a number of miners left the mine to serve their country with pride
At this time my Dad worked at Grant Town mine and left to serve in the army 1942
On his return after military service he started post haste at # 9 in 1945 till 1978 With the defeat of the axis powers men turned in their G.I. pots for their old minerís hat
Many men came back to #9 to pick up from where they left, for some men a new trade
The first three years of the 50ís treated the miners very well with more work then ever
November 13th 1954 came #9ís first major disaster with a total of 16 men killed that day
The following years of the 50ís coal production from this mine was still on the rise
Coal was king into the 60ís and big old #9 was doing its part in world coal production
November 20th, 1968 was #9ís darkest day when 78 miners were killed in one of the worst mining explosion in West Virginiaís mining history
As a result of this horrific accident at #9 the 1969 coal mine safety and health act came into affect and the safety of all coal miners of America was top priority
This seemed to have put a blemish on #9ís record of safety that it could never recover from and even though the mine produced many mega tons of coal for the next 10 years the mine was doomed for closure
In 1978 #9 was officially closed and sealed along with 19 unrecovered miners from the 1968 disaster
A monument was erected outside of Mannington W.Va.to honor these brave miners of #9
Today nothing stands where #9 mine was, only a big open field where this big mine stood
#2 Nov 24, 2010
I was going to read this but it was way to long.
#3 May 25, 2011
You know, Your one stupid prick.
#4 May 26, 2011
My grandpa was killed in number 9 never got to know him but he and the other miners will never be forgotten.
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