It is our last day in this location and we decided to take is slow , visit the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine ,no need to drive to it as we are using the Museums C.G.
We booked ourselves for the 10:30AM mine tour so we had time for breakfast in the trailer.
The visit to the mine was interesting and the guide that was a Miner gave us an insight ,conditions and feelings of the people working there, but what caught us of guard are the stories behind the stories.
The Mining companies built a village for the miners and their families that included: accommodations accordingly to the size of the family,School,Doctor,General Store.
A miner was paid in 1937 66cents for each ton of coal he mined,part of the payment was in SCRIP (like funny money) that he HAD to use ONLY in the village he lived, if the company saw that he is not buying/spending enough in the general store they took actions against him including taking him of the job (Slavery???).
Here is a pay slip from 30 September 1937
11 tons @ 66 cents Total Income= $72.46
Bought with scrip for $46
Rent (Accommodations) $ 4
Coal for heating $ 2.5
Doctor $ 0.75
Company tax $ 0.80
Mine checks (advance pay) $0.37
Buying with cash $0.50
Hauling (Minor had to pay to haul the coal he mined…… $1.50
Do you believe it????
The superintendent was paid 10 times more and his house was paid by the company as long as he played by the company rules and brought in more profit.
We meet the 96 old School Teacher in the class room and it was so interesting chatting with him,he is sharp and still drives a car (he had a good beginning salary of $220 75 years ago and took good care of himself),he is just great and so cheerful,we enjoyed meeting him.
He told us about the “Old Times” and what rules the teachers had to follow.
The times were harsh and people would go a long way to get and keep a job.
The rules for women teachers are even striker.
The mine .
Here are some pictures of the coal mine.
By the way TODAY miners earn between $100000-120000 a month and they deserve it.
The world did change a lot and it is normal ,my only wish is that it changed for the BETTER.
Thanks for visiting.