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New 'Outside the Mine-Daily Life in a Coal Company Camp' Exhibit Opens at WVU

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A new exhibit at West Virginia University's Royce J. and Caroline B. Watts Museum explores the lives miners and their families.

"Outside the Mine: Daily Life in a Coal Company Camp" focuses on four central components of our region's coal communities, including commerce and the company store, religion and faith, domestic work and activities and social time and leisure, according to a news release from WVU.

"Outside the Mine" features historical artifacts and photographs from the days when coal was king, according to the news release.

"Coal companies built homes, churches, schools and stores in the region's remote coalfields to attract miners," said Danielle Petrak, curator. "Although mining operations sustained these towns' existence, there was more to life in coal camps than laboring underground."

Officials said the exhibit, "how the spirit of hard work and sense of camaraderie typical among miners impacted the development of a distinct coal camp culture."

The exhibit is on display through July 2014. The museum is open to the public Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and by appointment. Admission into the museum is free and parking is available at the WVU Coliseum. For more information, call 304-293-4609 or email wattsmuseum@mail.wvu.edu.