About Us

The mining museum owes its beginning to Homer White who, in 1961 taught history at Coalgate High School. Recognizing the value of the area's coal mining heritage, Mr. White assigned his Oklahoma history class a project: Find, identify and label as many relics of the county's coal boom-days as possible. Soon the students had assembled quite an assortment of mining tools, picks, drill bits, hats, lamps, and mule harness. The collection was displayed in the high school's display cases. In 1964 the collection was moved to city hall.


The Business and Professional Women's Club adopted the project of opening a museum to house the collection of mining tools. On July 1, 1974, the Coal County Historical and Mining Museum, Inc., a nonprofit corporation, was established. In October 1975, the corporation bought an old duplex in Coalgate and moved the collection of mining tools from the old icehouse to it's new home.


The board of directors is a nine-member volunteer group. The museum is a nonprofit organization, funded by donations and membership dues. Experience Works (Senior Community Service Employment Program) furnishes the staff employed at the museum; Mary K. Smith is the current curator.


Display items consist of mining tools, a model of a working mine, clock, oil lamps, blasting devices, and for historical value we have old pictures of Coalgate, Lehigh and other areas. The museum has a room for displays of past prominent citizens and businesses of Coal County. The children's section includes 2 antique child coffins, child tricycle, desk bench and dolls.


A military display room consists of uniforms from WWI, pictures from WWII Veterans, and other items. New display items for the room are plaques that honor our local military men and women past and present. There is a also a display room for Dr. Clark, a pioneer doctor with his medical bags and other instruments.


Research can be done at the museum through a collection of old courthouse ledgers and other reading materials. You can learn more about Coal County history by researching the following types of documents:



  • Civil and Criminal; dockets, dated 1907 - 1959

  • Immigration and Naturalization records pre-statehood

  • Mining information, pictures and stories

  • WPA Census Records

  • Marriage Records

  • Lehigh School Records

  • Cemetery Records

Copies are available for a donation to cover the cost of paper and ink. All donations go to the upkeep of the museum.


Membership dues: $15 per year. Your membership dues and donations keep the doors to the museum open. It's a worthy cause and you will receive a newsletter with updates and events for the year. Just mail to Coal County Historical and Mining Museum, P.O. Box 231, Coalgate, OK 74538.


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