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Two nonprofit organizations dedicated to preserving and sharing often overlooked chapters of history, the West Virginia Mine Wars Museum and the Chesapeake & Ohio Historical Society, have partnered to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the first coal shipment from the New River Gorge in 1873.

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My grandfathers on both sides were coal miners. My father is a mechanic for one of the railroads that transport coal. Basically, ever since our family has been in these hills, the coal business has put food on our table, and that’s the case for most families in our region.