This week Elementary went on their final field trip of this school year.  After studying our Earth this year, the rock cycle, and types of rocks… we completed our exploration with a trip to a coal mine.  The mine opened in the 1850’s and supplied coal to many local industries.  The mine was finally closed in 1969, renovated, and reopened as a touring mine in 1970.  Tour-Ed Mine in Kittanning is a draft coal mine which means that we ventured straight into the ground and while exploring in the mine we were approximately 125 feet underground.  During our visit we first had a class about coal mining and its history and then went on our tour.  Our tour guide ‘Mr. Nick’ is a retired (1994) coal miner who was very knowledgeable and led us inside the mine.  He had a plethora of knowledge about the history of mining and kept everyone very interested when showing us machinery from the 1800’s-present!   The mine is much larger than the area we explored… and the deepest areas are 5-7 miles below ground.  Tour-Ed mine has given millions of tours over the years and if you would like to return with your family I have included their website below.  It is a fantastic experience!

Learning about the history of coal mining from Mr. Nick our tour guide.

Our transportation into the mine.  The cars are over 100 years old.

Our tour guide, retired miner Mr. Nick.

Getting ready to go in!!! Keep arms, hands, legs, feet, and heads inside the tram…

On our way!

Getting out of our tram… Brrr… it is chilly in here, 52 degrees.

Coal mining in the 1800’s.

No more mules carrying out coal… this is a new system, shaking the coal to a conveyer belt. 

No more picks… machines are helping.

New machinery helped miners with their work load while increasing supply!

Our view for an hour on Thursday… deep in the mine!