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Norris Dam State Park hosts coal mining exhibit at Lenoir Museum
May 14, 2022

lenoir museum cross mountain mine
Boys aged 12-13 working at the entrance to the Cross Mountain Mine. Photo by Lewis Hine c. 1910

NORRIS -- Lenoir Museum, part of interpretive programming at Norris Dam State Park, will open a new coal mining exhibit Thursday, May 19 at 3 p.m. showcasing the history of the Coal Creek Community.

The opening is in partnership with the Coal Creek Miners Museum and marks the 120th anniversary of the Fraterville Mine disaster.

Charles “Boomer” Winfrey, an expert on the rich local mining history, will give a presentation at the opening. The exhibit will feature rarely seen photographs from the history of Coal Creek. Artifacts giving glimpses into the lives of the miners will be on display.

In the late 1800s, the Coal Creek community, now known as Lake City/Rocky Top, 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 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, park ranger at Norris Dam State Park.

The Lenoir Museum is at 2121 Norris Freeway in Norris, TN, one-half mile from Norris Dam. The museum is open each Wednesday through Sunday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is free.

For additional information, please contact the Lenoir Museum at (865) 494-9688 or the park office at (865) 425-4500. For more information on the Coal Creek Miners Museum visit

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