Groundbreaking for Coal Miner Memorial likely in spring

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FROSTBURG, Md. — Groundbreaking for a memorial to the nearly 700 coal miners who died in the mines of the Georges Creek Valley may be held by April 2022.

Bucky Schriver, a member of the Coal Miner Memorial Statue Committee, said the group plans to meet with Bennett, Brewer and Associates of Frostburg this week to give plans the final approval.

The memorial, which is about 10 years in the making, will be located just north of the Frostburg Depot along an overlook beside the Great Allegheny Passage.

Features will include a wall containing the names of the miners who died between 1838 and 2007.

Each miner will have a plaque with their name, age, hometown, number of dependents, date of death and mine where they died.

The memorial will also feature a bronze, life-sized statue of a miner “reading a book by the light of his head lamp; he holds an apple in his hand, his lunchpail by his side,” according to Schriver.

Schriver said the project is to be submitted to Allegany County officials on Nov. 24 for review, as the memorial will be on county land.

The plan is to advertise the project for bid in February, with a 30-day response period, he said. The project is likely expected to be finished in August with a dedication sometime in the summer months.

We can “do the dedication while the kids are still out of school,” said Schriver, as it will be easier for families to make the dedication.

A $75,000 capital grant was approved by the Maryland Board of Public Works, which matched the donations the Foundation for Frostburg fund had received.

The third volume of the “Miner Recollections” books — which are put together by a collaboration of Barbara Armstrong, Polla Horn and Schriver — is underway and could be released in the near future, said Schriver. The first two volumes of the series have sold collectively over 1,500 copies.

The books feature stories that memorialize the local miners who died while working in the mines, about 40 of which were 16 and under.

Brandon Glass is a staff writer for the Cumberland Times-News. Follow him on Twitter @Bglass13.



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