The Coal Miners Monument is the eighth and last in Our Community’s monument series. It was intended from the inception of the program that this was to be the grandest of the monuments befitting the role that coal mining has played in the history of Our Community, and the great debt that we owe to the pioneer coal miners and their families.
To the right of this large monument, the main focus of the Coal Miners Memorial Park, is located the memorial to Saint Barbara, the patron saint of coal miners, and the Coal Miners Memorial Chapel plaque honoring the 56 local miners who died as a result of mining accidents since 1857. Behind the main monument is the Les Piper Memorial Grotto where is told the story of pioneer miner who worked 12 hours a day, 6 days a week, for up to 60 years – beginning as early as age eight – and who with his blood, toil, sweat, and tears – and many time his own life – provided a better life for his family and established and maintained Our Community.
From the Grotto a portal leads from the stark world of the coal miner into a butterfly garden with three statues symbolizing the beautiful tomorrow that the miner’s labor has provided for all of us – thereby providing to all members of Our Community – and most especially Our two youngest generations, a visual testimony to the role that Coal Miners had in forming Our Community and influencing Our Lives.
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