The Quecreek Mine Rescue Foundation Tuesday announced it has accepted a donation of coal mining artifacts from Rosebud Mining Company formerly housed in the Windber Coal Heritage Center, according to William Arnold, Executive Director of the Foundation.
“We are very pleased Rosebud Mining Company choose the Foundation to care for these artifacts and make them available to the public here at the Quecreek Mine Rescue site,” said Arnold. “There are hundreds of artifacts involved, some related to the 2002 Quecreek rescue, and many others related to coal mining that will a good fit in our Visitor’s Center.
“The Foundation is dedicated to educating the public about the miracle that was the Quecreek Mine Rescue and this donation will help expand our ability to do just that,” said Arnold.
The artifacts include many diverse items, including the rescue capsule made for the Disney movie about the Quecreek rescue, lunch buckets, tools, equipment used by coal miners, mine maps, payroll records and documents dated back to early turn of the century.
Rosebud Mining Company bought the Windber Coal Heritage Center in Windber near Johnstown, Pa in 2009 and made significant repairs to the three-story building with the hope of keeping the Museum open. However, the declining number of visitors made keeping the Center open unsustainable.
“We believe there are significant educational and historical benefits to the mining artifacts for the community. We are confident the Quecreek Foundation will take responsibility for making them available to the public for many years to come,” said John Garcia, Rosebud Mining Company.
Arnold said over the next 30 days, he and other volunteers will be cataloging and moving the artifacts from the Windber Coal Heritage Center to the Quecreek Visitors’ Center and evaluating how best to put them on display. Any questions regarding personal on-loan items to the Windber Coal Heritage Center can be addressed by contacting the Quecreek Mine Rescue Foundation.
On July 24, 2002 miners broke through into an abandoned, water-filled mine flooding the Quecreek Mine with over 150 million gallons of water. Nine miners scrambled to safety, but nine were trapped in a pocket of air in the dark, cold, water filled mine. They were rescued four days later through the combined efforts of state and federal mine rescue agencies and hundreds of workers and volunteers.
The Quecreek Mine Rescue Foundation is a non-profit charitable organization that relies on support from the public to educate the public about the rescue and to maintain and operate the mine rescue area and a visitor’s center.Contact the Quecreek Mine Rescue Foundation or make a donation by writing: 151 Haupt Road, Somerset, PA 15501, calling 814-445-5090 or by visiting www.9for9.org.