Aug. 7, 2013
To: Anderson County Commissioner Tim lsbel
From: Barry Thacker and Carol Moore
Re: Support of the Coal Miners’ Museum in Coal Creek (aka Lake City)
We would like to express our continuing support of every effort to preserve and honor the rich coal mining history of Anderson County, Tenn. There is nowhere on Earth with more dramatic coal mining history in such a small area with the effects felt worldwide—and it sits right on I-75!
The miners of Coal Creek in Anderson County, Tenn., left their mark on history. They fueled the industrial revolution. The area was settled by Welsh immigrant coal miners, which helped Knoxville and surrounding areas build faster than others after the Civil War. The Welsh educational and religious influence and Appalachian artifacts will join to tell the story of a strong-willed and resourceful people. The Coal Creek miners fought the Tennessee Militia to abolish the use of convict miners by private industry during the Coal Creek War of 1891 to 1892. About 300 Coal Creek miners, many of them veterans of the Coal Creek War, perished in mine disasters in 1902 (Fraterville) and 1911 (Cross Mountain). Mine disasters like these raised public awareness of the hazards of mining, resulting in advances in mine safety practices. In the early part of the 20th Century, thousands of coal miners died in the United States each year.
The Coal Creek (Lake City) area is a perfect spot for a coal miners’ museum. It would be a great boost to tourism and economic development of the area. When the museum is completed, visitors will be able to learn about the history of mining in Coal Creek and throughout the country. Immigrants found coal mining as a way to build a new life in a new country. Some recognized their dreams and others met with disaster, just as the early pioneers did who tamed the West. An education wing could teach about the role that coal plays in meeting the future energy needs of the country and how mining has changed over the past century. Visitors can learn about the history in the museum and then visit the sites where history was made in Coal Creek.
We hope you will support the Coal Creek Miners’ Museum.
Coal Creek Watershed Foundation Inc.
Barry K. Thacker
President and Volunteer
Board Member and Volunteer