|Location:||501 15th Street, Windber|
|Classification:||coal mining museum|
|Light:||Incandescent Electric Light System|
Mildred Beik ():
The Miners of Windber,
The Struggles of New Immigrants for Unionization, 1890s-1930s
|Address:||The Windber Coal Heritage Center, 501 15th Street, Windber, PA 15963-0115, Tel: +1-814-467-6680, Free: +1-877+826-3933. E-mail:|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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|1992||former post office building purchased by the Eureka group.|
|01-MAY-1997||Windber Coal Heritage Center opened to the public.|
|2002||Quecreek mine accident.|
|2006||Rescue@Quecreek interactive exhibit opened.|
|MAR-2010||sold to Rosebud Mining Co..|
The Windber Coal Heritage Center is dedicated to the history of the local coal mining history. The mining dominated the region, and the city of Windber is a former company town. It was founded by the Berwind-White Coal Mining Co. Immigrant workers lived in company-owned houses and shopped in the company-owned Eureka Department Store.
One of the central exhibitions of the museum is the Rescue@Quecreek interactive exhibit. It shows artifacts and recordings from the 2002 rescue of nine miners who were trapped underground for more than 78 hours. The accident happened when miners at Quecreek Mine hit a tunnel of an abonded mine which was actually forgotten. The old mine was filled with ground water, which flooded Quecreek Mine immediately.
Rather disturbing was the fact that the museum was sold to a mining company in 2010. The Rosebud Mining Co. payed $250,000 for building and the collection. While many mining museums are operated by mining companies, this museum informed about the downsides of the mining, for example the mining accident at Quecreek Mine. The sale was the reason for concerns, how neutral and impartial the museum will be in the future. Until now it was operated by the Progress Fund, a nonprofit corporation providing loans to tourist operations in southwestern Pennsylvania and nearby states. In December they announced, the museum would not reopen in the 2010 season because of low attendance ant the loss of federal and state funding.