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The miners memorial is a result of three years effort on the part of the Winding Gulf Restoration Organization, a local non-profit organization based out of Helen. With the help from nearby businesses and organizations, the memorial was finished in the summer of 2007 and honors those miners who lived or worked in Helen. Also located at the site of the memorial are interpretive signs installed in 2018 with the help of the National Coal Heritage Area Authority and the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia.


  • The interpretive signs installed on March 27th, 2018 help tell the story of Helen and keep its rich history alive.
  • The original company store, built in 1919.
  • The company store, view from behind.
  • The miners Memorial in the summer of 2017.

The site of the memorial and interpretive signs are located at the former site of the coal company store. The company store, last operated by the Koppers Division of the Eastern Gas and Fuel Assosiates was originally constructed by the East Gulf Coal Company in 1919 was managed by George G. Burnette, a man from Kentucky, in the early 1920s. Although the store is no longer standing, it is remembered by some of the residents of Helen. John L. Lewis, former president of the Winding Gulf Restoration Organization remembers buying ice cream there as a child. 


"I even remember what kind it was — one of those orange ’sicles with the cream inside,"

Despite the store no longer standing, the memorial and signs help residents and visitors to remember the rich history of their town. Just as the company store was once a central location in Helen, the Miners Memorial and now the interpretive signs have become one as well. Some of the themes of the interpretive signs include, baseball, African Americans in the mines, and Helen's connection to Camp Lightfoot.







http://www.register-herald.com/archives/helen-dedicates-memorial/article_2030cc05-85d2-586d-b611-3a0...