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.
“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.
in the WVGS mini-museum.
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.
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.
Visitors ride 1500 feet beneath New River Park.
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
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.
The Oil and Gas Museum tells the story of the oil and gas industry’s
influence on West Virginia’s formation.