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Helper museum focuses on mining accidents

A photo of miners working underground on the longwall at the Helper Mining and Railroad Museum.
Underground mining simulation displayed at the Helper museum.

Sun Advocate reporter

The Western Mining and Railroad Museum of Helper announced the future unavailing of new exhibits Saturday that will focus on mine disasters throughout the occupations history in the area.

According to the manager of the museum SueAnn Martell, the historic archive has drawn a diverse blend of individuals from all over the world since the Crandall Canyon mine disaster last August.

The museum staff plans on doing a variety of new exhibits and memorial rooms in the near future.

"The museum is planning several new exhibits for the coming year. One of the most poignant will be a Coal Miner Memorial Room," said Martell. "This exhibit will feature a list of all the coal miners who have died in Carbon and Emery County mines since mining began here in the late 1870's."

The staff has undergone extensive research to obtain information for the new exhibits.

"We have been doing research for this project for months. The list will show the miner's names, their date of death and the mine where they were working," said Martell.

"While we are trying to create a comprehensive list, we are hoping that once the list is put up, family members of fallen miners that may have been missed can help to fill in the gaps."

According to Martell, the exhibit will also feature information on the mine disasters of Hardscrabble Canyon, Willow Creek and Crandall Canyon.

"We will focus on the rescue effort at Crandall Canyon because it was the first of its kind in coal mining history," said Martell.

According to Martell, the museum is also planning a new and improved underground coal mine exhibit. The new exhibit will be twice as large as the current exhibit and will feature coal mining styles from the early 1900's as well as the more modern mining techniques.

A grant from the Utah Office of Museum Services paid for the design of the exhibit as well as some preliminary exhibit materials, said Martell.

The exhibit was designed by Teply Graphic Arts

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