Coal Heritage Project and Mountain of Hope

Summary of Project: Mountain of Hope has spent two years assisting in the development of a coal heritage museum that will be located in downtown Mount Hope. Mountain of Hope has been developing a photographic history of coal mining communities in Southern West Virginia from a collection developed by the late George Bragg and other photographers and historians. The overall goal is to have three large main photographic displays, each accompanied by a small multimedia/video station. Supplementarily there will be a series of smaller sized exhibitions that may be rotated on a schedule. The exhibit will include:

  • 1 Coal History and foundation of Mount Hope - portraits of individual miners, panoramas of miners at the entrances to the mines where they worked.
  • 2 Miners working underground intentionally illustrating the complexities and dangers inherent in the mines.
  • 3 Unionization of the mines.
  • 4 Daily life and experiences including festivals, candid street photographs, and sporting events
  • 5 Race relations in the mining communities including the oral histories regarding integration of the public schools in Mount Hope during the 1950s and 1960s. See and hear "Game Changer" and "Dollars and Cents" on the Mountain of Hope Website.
  • 6 A history of church life in the mining communities including an emphasis on the diversity of faiths and nationalities of those who came to the coalfields to find work in the mines.
  • 7 Role of women as leaders, organizers, and mainstays of the mining communities.
  • 8 Education - role of teachers in the development of the children of coal mining families.
  • 9 Histories of the Siltix and other mining disasters that shaped mine safety laws.
  • 10 Class distinctions in the mining communities.
  • 11 History of Dubois High School and education in the Black communities prior to integration.

Mountain of Hope Brick Project

The Mountain of Hope Organization (MOHO) Brick Project was envisioned in 2015 by Stewart Payne (MOHO Board Member). The goal was to memorialize all supporters, administrators, teachers, and students who were part of the glorious history of Dubois High and Mt. Hope High. Therefore, the construction of a brick recognition display in front of the Mt. Hope High Municipal Football Stadium was initiated.

Constructed under the auspices of MOHO President Charles McKenney, this undertaking has enveloped the entire community from its inception. The design of the framework was developed by MOHO board treasurer Jerry Adams & was constructed by the Fayette Institute of Technology (FIT) welding class under the direction of instructor Roy Neal. MOHO Members Jerry Adams, Dennis Keffer, and Scott Vargo not only laboriously prepared the site but also installed the completed framework and the bricks. Additional “dressing up” of the cite with flowers was also undertaken.

This huge enterprise was expedited with the invaluable assistance of the FIT masonry class, supervised by Darrell Fisher, who onsite, cut the bricks to fit the installation. A temporary banner was installed for the ceremony and was eventually replaced by a permanent structure recognizing the efforts of the MOHO organization.
On Sunday, May 28, 2017 at 2:30 p.m. a ribbon cutting ceremony was held in front of the Mt Hope High Municipal Football Stadium.

This event coincided with the free the public picnic at the Mount Hope City Park where the latest scholarship recipients were honored. Currently, MOHO has provided over $55,000 of scholarships to deserving area students and all profits of the brick project are earmarked to continue this philanthropic scholarship program.

Also, we are forever grateful to the Mustang supporters whose loyalty has been instrumental in making our scholarship distribution come to fruition. While we still have a few bricks that are combined efforts have come to a successful conclusion. However, if anyone wishes to make a tax-deductible donation to the MOHO organization please notify Jerry Adams via the MOHO website.

Christmas Outreach

Patty Logan (center) is shown receiving a check for $1000 from MOHO members Scott & Brenda Kay Vargo to help meet the costs of providing Christmas gifts for deserving children. Patty and her trusty band of four Mustang alumni annually make and sell pumpkin rolls to reduce the cost of making 35 children's Christmas brighter.

Christmas Outreach

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