Lake City, Tennessee. It was a Saturday and typical of this photo project, I drove right past my destination, the Lake City Coal Mine Museum. Finally, after stopping to ask directions (the local police were very helpful), I turned around and found myself at the town's community center. I went in one door and landed at a dead end. Hmmm. No museum. The screaming in my head began to get really loud. Oh, no. Not again, I thought. Why is this so hard? I am a museum person. I have a radar for finding them. Why is it so hard to locate them in Tennessee?
So, I took a breath and walked around to the front of the building. Oh, thank goodness. There it was, right where it was suppose to be. There was the sign, yet in front of the door, there was also a grill. Strange. But there seemed to be a few people inside, so in my companion and I went.
Basically, it is a one room museum. However, if you are thinking about visiting it, you may want to call in advance. It has the feel of a private collection that is in the process of needing to be cataloged and labeled. There is a proposal in the works, apparently, to create a much larger national coal mining museum.
After fifteen minutes or so, we wandered out and decided to go on the Motor Discovery Tour of the Coal Creek mine disasters. It is a fascinating history. That was challenging as well, as the tour really does not exist. It, like the museum, is holding its breath for signage and funding (sorely needed). So, we meandered and made a day of it, looking for the past, sometimes finding it, sometimes not.
- MUSEUM LOCATION:
- Latitude: 36.222898
- Longitude: -84.157441
- 216 N. Main Street - Lake City, TN 37769
- A LITTLE HISTORY:
- Coal Creek was the site for the Cold Creek Coal War of 1891 to 1892, where miners fought against the notion of coal companies using convict labor.
- Location of the United States' third largest mining disaster - the 1902 Fraterviller Explosion.
- Location of the 1911 Cross Mountain mine disaster.
- Lake City Coal Miner's Museum
- Bridges, churches and other structures along the Motor Discovery Tour.
- CURRENT USAGE:
- The Motor Discovery Tour