Northern Appalachian Coal Mining Heritage Association seeks support for preservation efforts in North Central W.Va.

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FAIRMONT, W.Va. – The Marion County Commission listened to a presentation from a group that wants to preserve the coal heritage of the area.

The Northern Appalachian Coal Mining Heritage Association asked commission members for support in establishing a coal heritage area.

The Fairmont Coal Heritage Area would include six counties, including Marion, Monongalia, Harrison, Preston, and Taylor counties.

The group’s President, Mike Rohaly, explained that many towns that used to thrive during the coal area, and are now struggling, could benefit from being named a coal heritage area.

“We are looking to establish a formal coal heritage area. Hopefully, first on a state level and if we’re successful, maybe on a national level.  And, by doing that, that opens doors to funding.”

The group is using southern West Virginia’s established coal heritage area as a model for the one they are trying to create.

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