West Virginia Department of Commerce Energy Museums

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Energy Museums

Energy MuseumsMorgantown
Another Morgantown Energy Tour attraction is the West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey. Housed in a converted state park lodge, the Survey overlooks Cheat Lake. The former lobby now serves as a mini-museum, displaying minerals, fossils and casts of T-Rex skulls.

Energy Museums
Full-sized Edmontosaurus
in the WVGS mini-museum.

“Perhaps the most striking and popular display is that of a full-sized Edmontosaurus (pronounced ed-MONto-SAWR-us) dinosaur, mounted on a wall,” said Michael Hohn, director and state geologist. The mini-museum also features models of prehistoric fish that swam in oceans that once covered the state. The majority of visitors come for the Survey’s records, maps and other data on oil, gas and coal, Hohn said. An oil and gas company may want to research reserves and surrounding activity before deciding to lease a specific property, or a family may want to find out whether there are coal reserves under their property.

Soaring interest in Marcellus Shale is drawing extra attention to the Survey’s website, which has a Frequently Asked Questions page and a downloadable “geoenabled” interactive map. The map is layered, so you can make visible the features that interest you – completed wells for example – and hide those that don’t. Get Michael Hohn’s full story about the Geological Survey at Genuinewv.org/GeoEconomicSurvey and check out the interactive Marcellus Shale maps at www.wvgs.wvnet.edu.

Energy MuseumsBeckley

Energy Museums
Visitors ride 1500 feet beneath New River Park.

Any energy tour in West Virginia must include coal. The Beckley Exhibition Coal Museum and Youth Museum of Southern West Virginia in Beckley allows visitors to explore a former coal mine, guided by an experienced miner. Visitors travel underground in authentic “man cars” from the mine entrance to old working mine areas and back. Above ground, guests can stroll around the recreated company coal town with company house, miner’s shanty and camp school. For more information, call 304- 256-1747 or visit wvtourism.com/ExhibitionCoalMuseum.


Energy MuseumsParkersburg
Coal isn’t the only fossil fuel found in abundance in West Virginia. Continue the energy tour at the Oil and Gas Museum, 119 Third Street, Parkersburg. The museum showcases the region’s oil and gas heritage. The exhibits portray the role the thriving commercial oil and gas industry and its leaders played in forming the state of West Virginia. Following the end of the

Energy Museums
The Oil and Gas Museum tells the story of the oil and gas industry’s
influence on West Virginia’s formation.

Civil War in 1865, West Virginia enjoyed a period of prosperity when the oil and gas industry experienced an economic “boom” period in the 1890s. The eclectic museum includes a large Civil War section among its displays. For more information, visit wvtourism.com/OilandGasMuseum.
Bramwell - Stroll Through the Past
Wealthy coal barons built lavish mansions in Bramwell in Mercer County. Called “the richest small town in America,” Bramwell was once home to as many as 19 millionaires. Many of the elegant homes remain well preserved today. Catch a glimpse of that bygone era with a self-guided walking tour or a pre-arranged group tour of historic Bramwell. Visit wvtourism.com/ HistoricBramwell.