Alabama Mining Museum The Alabama Mining Museum in Dora, Walker County, is a local history and mining industry museum. The goal of the Alabama Mining Museum is to preserve the legacy of coal mining in Alabama’s history during the years of 1890 and 1940, when coal mining flourished in the state. In 1984, the Alabama State Senate designated the museum as the “Official State Coal Mining Museum of Alabama.”
The museum was founded in 1982 and housed in the former Dora High School Gymnasium. Glass exhibit cases feature artifacts and tools used in various aspects of mining, domestic items related to life in a mining camp or community, and period clothing. Other exhibits feature historic photos and domestic items related to Dora and its mining history. A large mural depicts scenes typical of a coal-mining operation, and a geology display interprets the rock formations and structures that produce coal. Equipment used by miners is also on display, including pneumatic jackhammers, coal skids, and generators.
Domestic collections include historic grocery packaging, medical equipment, and an old cash register. Most notable among the many artifacts on display are a baseball and glove from Dora native Ivy Paul “Poison” Andrews, who was an American Major League baseball pitcher with the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, and St. Louis Browns between 1931 and 1938 and later was the Birmingham Barons‘ first pitching coach. The museum grounds house a locomotive and train cars and a variety of mining equipment. They sit on the site of the remains of Dora High School, which was demolished in the early 1980s. Next to the museum is the arched stone entrance of Watkins Field, which had been the school stadium.
The museum is open from Tuesday to Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. Visitors can make appointments to visit by calling 205-648-2442.