West Virginia State Capitol Complex Walking Tour

WV Coal Miners Memorial

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The WV Coal Miners Memorial is located on the grounds of the West Virginia State Capitol Complex in Charleston, West Virginia. It was designed by Burl Jones in 2002 to honor the men and women who have dedicated their lives to mining coal in West Virginia.


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Backstory Listen

The  “The West Virginia Coal Miner” memorial, designed by sculptor Burl Jones, features a statue of a coal miner. The base of the memorial depicts the common duties men and women performed while working in the coal mines. The memorial's plaque reads " In honor and in recognition of the men and women who have devoted a career, some a lifetime, towards providing the state, nation and world with low-cost, reliable household and industrial energy... Let it be said that “Coal” is the fuel that helped build the greatest country on earth, has protected and preserved our freedom and has enhanced our quality of life. God Bless the West Virginia Coal Miner! Dedicated this 4th day of December 2002."

It was commissioned by the West Virginia Coal Forum, and it commemorates the hard-working men and women who have toiled in the difficult work of mining coal. The memorial served as a gathering place during the Upper Big Branch mine disaster in 2010 and continues to be the location where people come to remember the 29 men who lost their lives in that explosion, as well as countless other sacrifices West Virginia miners, have made over the years.

The West Virginia Coal Miners Memorial is located at the State Capitol Complex, between the West Wing of Building 1 and the bus pickup area (former visitor’s metered parking lot) adjacent to the Culture Center.  It is best accessed via Washington St. East and Greenbrier St.

1900 Kanawha Blvd E
Charleston , West Virginia 25305

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"West Virginia Coal Miner Statue." Flickr. April 23, 2011. Accessed July 15, 2019. https://www.flickr.com/photos/24304517@N02/5694471991/in/photostream/.

Bartley, Chris. Coal Miner Memorial. GigaPan. July 12, 2008. Accessed July 14, 2019. http://www.gigapan.com/gigapans/6668.

Highsmith, Carol M. The West Virginia Coal Miner statue by sculptor Burl Jones, completed in 2002 on the grounds of the state capitol in Charleston. Library of Congress. June 05, 2015. Accessed July 14, 2019. https://www.loc.gov/item/2015631767/.

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