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On April 5, 2010, the Upper Big Branch mine explosion rocked the small town of Whitesville West Virginia. With the loss of 29 miners, the UBB mine disaster was the worst mine disaster in the state in decades. To remember their lost loved ones, the community created a memorial in their honor. The Upper Big Branch Mining Memorial Group, Inc. ensures the continuing maintenance and upkeep of the memorial.


  • The Monument of the 29 miners
  • First responders monument
  • UBB Miners Memorial
  • Reverse side of the miners monument
  • Dedication Plaque
  • Reverse side of the miners monument
  • Interpretive signage area
  • Entrance sign and First Reponders monument
  • Interpretive sign- diagram of the explosion at UBB
  • Interpretive sign- UBB Timeline
  • Interpretive sign- Historical WV coal mine disasters
  • First Responders Monument and dedication plaque
  • Disaster site memorial
  • Disaster site as seen from Route 3

This monument represents the lives of the 29 miners that were killed in a mining explosion about 3 miles outside of Whitesville, West Virginia. The explosion occurred at about 3:27 PM on April 5, 2010. This mining accident was the worst the state of West Virginia has seen since 1970. In 2012, the state decided not to open the mine back up because of the tragic accident. 

People from Whitesville and many other communities around West Virginia came together and formed an Upper Big Branch Miner's Memorial Group. The group held candlelight vigils, gatherings, prayers, and ultimately built a memorial for the miners who tragically lost their lives. The memorial opened in July of 2012. At the center of the memorial plaza, the 50-foot long granite slab displays a life-size outline of the 29 miners who lost their lives in the disaster. The monument stands to honor not only the memory of the victims of the UBB disaster, but the memory of all of those lost in the coal mines throughout West Virginia's history. Every year, on the anniversary of the accident, the wreaths are placed around the memorial. 

In 2015 former CEO of Massey Energy Don Blankenship was found guilty of conspiracy to violate safety standards. Investigators stated that Massey allowed gases to build up in the mine and threatened the miners with their job if they were to do or say something about it. Blankenship served a one year federal sentence after his conviction. Upon release from prison, Don Blankenship ran as a Republican for the United States Senate in West Virginia, but switched to the Constitution Party after losing in the Republican primaries. 

The Miners lost that day-
1. CARL CALVIN "PEE WEE" ACORD
2. JASON ATKINS
3. CHRISTOPHER BELL
4. GREGORY STEVEN BROCK
5. KENNETH A. CHAPMAN
6. ROBERT E. CLARK
7. CORY THOMAS DAVIS
8. CHARLES TIMOTHY DAVIS
9. MICHAEL LEE "CUZ" ELSWICK
10. WILLIAM ILDON "BOB" GRIFFITH
11. STEVEN "SMILEY" HARRAH
12. EDWARD DEAN JONES
13. RICHARD K. LANE
14. WILLIAM ROOSEVELT LYNCH
15. JOE MARCUM
16. RONALD LEE MAYNOR
17. NICOLAS DARRELL MCCROSKEY
18. JAMES E. "EDDIE" MOONEY
19. ADAM KEITH MORGAN
20. REX L. MULLINS
21. JOSHUA SCOTT NAPPER
22. HOWARD D. "BOONE" PAYNE
23. DILLARD EARL “DEWEY” PERSINGER
24. JOEL R. "JODY" PRICE
25. GARY WAYNE QUARLES
26. DEWARD ALLAN SCOTT
27. GROVER DALE SKEENS
28. BENNY RAY WILLINGHAM
29. RICKY WORKMAN

A list with portraits and short biographies can be found on the memorial website linked below.

"MSHA - Performance Coal - Upper Big Branch Mine-South Disaster Information Single Source Page." MSHA - Performance Coal - Upper Big Branch Mine-South Disaster Information Single Source Page. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Oct. 2014.Upper Big Branch Miners Memorial. . Accessed April 02, 2018. http://www.ubbminersmemorial.com/.