The museum tells the story of the 1890s coal boom and chronicles early exploration and settlement of the region. By the mid-1700s, settlers looking for a fresh start were traveling south out of Pennsylvania and Maryland into the valley of Virginia. Braving the unknown and constantly facing the threat of Indian attacks, pioneer settlers were almost totally dependent on the land, their own skills and the contents of their wagon for their every need. Displays of tools, household furnishings, quilts and early commerce tell the story of these hardy pioneers. There are also displays about the area's coal mining booms and busts, and there's an interactive kiosk that features life and labor in the coal camps.
The gift shop features many one-of-a-kind items. Special events include A Stitch in Time: Quilt Show in April through May 31, the Fall Antique Appraisal, and the Festival of Trees in mid-November through Dec. 31. You_ll find it at 10 West First St. and Wood Ave. (Alt. Route 58), just off Route 23 in Big Stone Gap.