Located at 748 Bull Creek Road in Tarentum, Pennsylvania, Tour-Ed Coal Mine is just 20 minutes from downtown Pittsburg. It is off of Route 28 at Exit 14. Tour-Ed Coal Mine was once a working coal mine. Mining operations began at the mine in 1850. The mine was modified for visitor safety and comfort prior to being opened to the public in 1970 as a tourist attraction.
Tour-Ed Mine provides visitors with the opportunity to see authentic mining tools and methods. Visitors learn about the mining tools and methods used throughout history, from the 1850s until today. The guides that work at the mine are all experienced miners, and they give live demonstrations of mining equipment in order for visitors to get an idea of what it would have been like to work in a coal mine.
Visitors are taken into the mine in groups of no more than 25 individuals so that all visitors are able to see the guide's demonstrations. For their protection, all visitors must wear a hard hart while in the mine. Since the year round temperature in the mine averages between 52 and 55 degrees, it is suggested that visitors bring a light jacket when touring the mine.
Guides give a short presentation on the various items miners have used, such as a variety of hats, rescue gear, and lamps. In order to get to the mining display, tourists get to ride in mine cars that will take them approximately 160 feet below the surface. Upon reaching the mining display, the mining tour typically lasts 30 minutes.
In addition to the mine tours, a surface tour is also offered. The surface tour includes the saw mill, the strip mine, and the auger mining display. An authentic caboose from the Pittsburgh and Shawmut Railroad is also located on the grounds. A log house that dates back to 1785 is just one more feature that visitors can enjoy while touring the area.
Tour-Ed Coal Mine is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day from 10:00am to 4:00pm Wednesday through Sunday. The mine is closed on Tuesdays. General admission is $8 per adult (ages 13 through 64) and $6.50 per child (age 12 and under). Senior citizens (age 65 and over) receive discounted rates. Group rates are $6.50 per adult and $5.50 per child. In order to obtain group rates, the group must have a minimum of 25 individuals.
Tour-Ed also features a museum. The museum is a recreation of the home of a typical coal miner in the 1850s. Visitors can learn about how coal miners and their families lived. The museum houses thousands of historical pieces, including tools and general store items. The mine's souvenir shop features unique gifts. Visitors can purchase souvenirs, such as miner's hats, pieces of coal, and novelties. Candy, snacks, and drinks are also sold in the souvenir shop.
Tour-Ed Coal Mine is home to a 13-acre park that visitors can use to enjoy a picnic lunch. A covered pavilion is available free of charge, but group reservations are recommended.
For additional information about Tour-Ed Coal Mine, interested parties can call 724-224-4720.
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