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HISTORY OF THE COAL MUSEUM

IN Early JUNE OF 1999, THE
BITUMINOUS COAL HERITAGE FOUNDATION INC. COAL MUSEUM BECAME A REALITY IN MADISON, WEST VIRGINIA. 

THE COAL HERITAGE FOUNDATION, ORGANIZED IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE BOONE County Development Authority, PURCHASED A BUILDING IN DOWNTOWN MADISON TO HOUSE THE MUSEUM AND VISITORíS CENTER. THE TREMENDOUS Growth OF THE ANNUAL WEST VIRGINIA COAL FESTIVAL, AND THE HISTORICAL ATTRACTIONS IN AND AROUND THE COUNTY SEAT OF MADISON, PROMPTED the COAL FOUNDATION AND BOONE COUNTY DEVELOPMENT Authority OFFICERS TO MOVE FORWARD TO PURCHASE A BUILDING AND ESTABLISH THE PERMANENT MUSEUM SITE IN MADISON.

THE BUILDING PURCHASED FOR THE MUSEUM WAS BUILT IN 1924. IT HOUSED THE Old MADISON POST OFFICE, AND HAS HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE.

THE FAMILY OF THE LATE TOMMY Ellis, A MADISON BUSINESSMAN WHO ALWAYS SUPPORTED THE FESTIVAL AND HIS COMMUNITY, GRACIOUSLY AGREED TO DONATE A BUILDING ADJACENT TO THE ONE BEING PURCHASED FOR THE MUSEUM BY THE FOUNDATION. THE BUILDING DONATED TO THE FOUNDATION IS LOCATED AT 347 MAIN, THE OLD BEN Franklin STORE.

THE DOWNTOWN MUSEUM SHOWCASES THE CULTURE AND HISTORY OF COAL AND ITS PEOPLE, AND BRINGS MANY VISITORS ANNUALLY TO BOONE COUNTY AND SOUTHERN WEST VIRGINIA. BROCHURES ARE AVAILABLE IN THE MUSEUM ON OTHER TOURIST AND HISTORICAL SITES IN SOUTHERN WV.

BOONE COUNTY IS THE LOGICAL CHOICE TO ESTABLISH THE MUSEUM AND VISITORíS CENTER. BOONE COUNTY IS WHERE COAL WAS FIRST DISCOVERED IN 1742, AND HAS BEEN THE ECONOMIC LIFEBLOOD OF THE COUNTY FOR DECADES.