As an outgrowth of the Mountain Ridge High School Miners Stadium Project, a group of interested citizens gathered in November of 2012 to discuss ways to stimulate interest in our local mining history and shed light on the lives of all who mined coal. Sculptor Alan Cotrill, of Zanesville, Ohio, was commissioned to cast a life-sized bronze coal miner, dedicated to the natural resource of Georges Creek Valley coal and the sacrifices made by those who mined it. Committee researchers have compiled the names of almost 600 miners, from 1838 to 2007, who perished as a result of this dangerous occupation. Their stories will be incorporated into the landscape design, bringing recognition to all who chose to mine for a living. After intensive consideration, the Trailhead Overlook, adjacent to the Frostburg Depot, has been selected as the installation site. Railroads connected our minefields and villages, enabling “Big Vein” coal to drive the economy of our region for over a century. The committee continues to collect materials for a compilation and submits weekly “Miner Recollections” for publication in the Cumberland Times-News Frostburg Express. The project has been selected as a recipient of Maryland Bond Funding. These matching dollars, along with the completion of the landscape design in Spring 2018, pave the way for a projected 2019 installation and dedication.
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