The Alabama Mining Museum in Dora is “The Official State Coal Mining Museum of Alabama.”
The museum was given that special designation in 1984 when the Alabama State Legislature deemed it so, in an effort to help preserve the story of coal mining in the state from the time period between 1890 and 1940. During those 50 years, the coal mining industry was a key driving force in the growth of cities such as Birmingham and surrounding communities.
Visitors to the Alabama Mining Museum can learn about what it was like to live in a mining camp during that time period, plus get an idea of how big companies controlled everything from the area's schools and stores to medical care and housing. In addition, the museum explores changes in mining technology over the years, including the eventual move from the pick-and-shovel days to underground machining.
Even the museum's building is interesting – it is a former gymnasium built in 1935 by the Works Project Administration. Among the hundreds of artifacts on display are a train from the early 1900s and assorted mining cars. Admission to the museum is free. For specific hours (they vary) or more information, call (205) 648-2442.
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