Pocahontas, Va. – After being idle for nearly two years the Pocahontas Exhibition Mine reopened July 11.
Supervisor Maggie Asbury said at the July 8 meeting of the Industrial Development Authority that the mine is taking visitors and a grand re-opening ceremony will be held later in the summer for the mine, museum and the restaurant.
Asbury said the restaurant is awaiting shipment of some equipment and hoping to be ready sometime in August. The restaurant will be called 13-6 because the mine was 13 feet high and it was the number six seam of coal.
Asbury said the IDA is purchasing equipment that will allow patrons to buy tickets for the mine, museum and order meals at the restaurant and pay for them all together. The mine was renovated with funds from the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy.
“We are so excited to once again welcome visitors to Pocahontas’s Exhibition Mine,” said Mayor Benjamin Gibson. “Improvements made will make the experience for visitors so much more and I believe this will directly result in more people coming to visit this unique tourist site.”
The town received $1.5 million in 2018 for safety improvements inside the mine and to turn the bathhouse and community room into restaurant space. In 2019, $379,178 was awarded from the Pilot Program for more changes at the Exhibition Mine. Soon, visitors will be able to ride through the mine and the town as they did when the Pocahontas Exhibition Mine first opened.
. Visitors should be aware some improvements are still underway and will be completed later this year. The mine is open Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Sundays 1o am. To 4 p.m. Groups of 12 or more should call 276-945-9522 or send an email to email@example.com to schedule a tour of the Exhibition Mine and to visit the walking trail.
The Pocahontas mine was the first in southwest Virginia. Coal mined there served the U.S. Navy through two World Wars. It employed hundreds of citizens and immigrants until its closure in 1958.
[In other action the authority:]
*Reorganized for the new fiscal year with Kyle Hurt continuing as chairman and Darrell Addison as vice chairman. They will continue to meet on the second Wednesday of each month at two p.m.
*Heard from County Attorney Chase Collins that the sale of the Boissevain Union Hall is complete.
*Met in closed session to discuss projects Jonah, CLAW, Ponderosa and SOL with no action taken.
*Met in closed session to discuss contractual matters with Painted Peak Brewery and Camoin 310.
*Met in closed session to discuss contractual matters regarding the D12CD Covid relief program.
*Approved the agreement for the Tazewell Area Chamber of Commerce to manage the funds in the D12CD Covid relief program and appointed Melanie Lawrence, Ann Robinson and Pam Warden to serve on the committee.