Norris Dam’s Lenoir Museum to feature coal mining exhibit

Lenoir Museum, located at Norris Dam State Park, will open a new coal mining exhibit on Thursday at 3 pm, Tennessee State Parks announced last week.

The exhibit will showcase the history of the Coal Creek community. It is in partnership with the Coal Creek Miners Museum and it marks the 120th anniversary of the Fraterville Mine disaster.

Charles “Boomer” Winfrey, an expert on local mining history, will give a presentation at the opening. The exhibit will feature rarely seen photographs from the history of Coal Creek, along with artifacts that provide glimpses into the lives of miners.

In the late 1800s, Coal Creek — now known as Rocky Top, and formerly known as Lake City — became famous for several events and tragedies. It was the site of the “Coal Creek War,” one of the largest labor uprisings in the country, and was also the scene of some of the worst coal mining disasters of the 20th century.

“The various events that took place at Coal Creek were some of the most influential forces for positive change, not only in the state of Tennessee but also in the nation around the turn of the century,” said Joseph Gamble, a park ranger at Norris Dam State Park.

The Lenoir Museum is located at 2121 Norris Freeway in Norris, Tenn., half a mile from Norris Dam. The museum is open each Wednesday through Sunday from 9 am to 5 pm. Admission is free.