Museums Exhibits

Kentucky museum's coal mine replica becoming a hot tourist attraction

A miner handles rock and coal.

A miner handles rock and coal.  (iStock)

OWENSBORO, Ky. — Tours of a replica coal mine at a museum in western Kentucky are attracting thousands of visitors each year.

The Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer reports the simulated mine in the basement of the Owensboro Museum of Science & History draws an average of 8,000 to 11,000 people a year.

It features low ceilings, dim lights and walls covered in material resembling coal.

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The 45-minute tour includes a short film about mining. The tours are included in the museum's admission price of $3 per person.

Executive officer Kathy Olson says this spring the museum will have re-enactors from the 1930s stationed at the actual mine site for above-ground tours.

The "mine" is based on the old George H. Rudy & Co. mine. Seven buildings from the mine that closed in 1954 are still standing.