coal mining history

Shawn Brackbill

This week, "A Change of Tune" host Joni Deutsch interviews Yeasayer co-founder Anand Wilder about his indie Appalachian musical “Break Line." The record features musicians from major indie/alt bands like Chairlift, MGMT, and Vampire Weekend, and the musical itself is inspired by West Virginia’s coal mining past. If you’re a fan of indie rock collaborations and classic rock operas, this interview is recommended for you.

http://www.coalheritage.org/

Since the recent chemical spill in Charleston, the issue of clean water in West Virginia is a topic that many Southern West Virginians are discussing.  The Coal Heritage Lecture Series, an annual program presented by Concord University’s Beckley Center and the Coal Heritage Highway Authority, kicks off the 2014 programs with a look at this critical issue. 

Storyteller, playwright and actress Karen Vuranch of Fayetteville has toured internationally - sharing the area's rich Appalachian culture and history.

Here she shares a favorite Christmas story based on a traditional Scottish ballad.

wvdanceco.com

A concert of modern dance that explores the history of the coal mining industry in Appalachia is touring Southern West Virginia. 

Two groups are working together to tell the story of the coal industry in Appalachia from the turn of the century to the 1920’s. 

Reid R. Frazier / The Allegheny Front

How much mine-able coal is left in Appalachia?

An old coal company store in Southern West Virginia has some spooky history.

We revisit the story of the Greenbrier Ghost, through the voices of school children.

And learn how growing a garden benefits women in a Pocahontas County prison facility.

The Soul of a Company Store

Oct 31, 2013
Whipple Company Store
wikimedia / Wikimedia Commons

This Halloween morning we conclude a three-part story about the haunted history of Whipple Company Store in Fayette County, W.Va. The spooky stories told there go beyond typical ghost tales and towards a horror that bleeds into reality. So far, we’ve heard two stories that point to forced sexual servitude on the part of women who lived in the coal camps around Whipple. Esau scrip was allegedly issued to women whose husbands were out of work - a kind of loan in which the women’s very bodies were the collateral.

What was the Esau scrip?

Oct 30, 2013
Whipple company store
wikimedia / Wikimedia Commons

Now we return to the second of a three-part story about the haunted history of the Whipple Company Store in Fayette County. The store was built at the turn of the 20th century as West Virginia coal miners began agitating to bring the union to the southern coal fields, and is now operated as a museum of coal camp life.