The Kentucky Coal Mining Museumbrings back to life one of the most unique and interesting aspects of early coal mining – the company store.

Housed in the old commissary built by International Harvester in the 1920s, the museum features four stories of exhibits on the history of mining and the life of the coal miner.

Visitors can enjoy a step back in time to the coal miner’s workplace, his home and his community.

Artifacts, antiques, photographs, and machinery make up the more than 30 exhibits.

Across from the Museum is the newly remodeled Benham Coal Minters Memorial Theater.

Neigboring Lynch, Kentucky, offers a companion museum complex with the Portal #31 Underground Mine Tour and Lamphouse Museum.

Slated to open in early 2006, the Portal #31 Underground Mine Tour will offer visitors the unique experience of touring an actual coal mine by rail car.

Visitors will adorn the traditional protective gear of the coal miner as they enjoy animated exhibits along the tour.

Outside Portal #31 stands a black granite monument in tribute to long-time president of the United Mine Workers John L. Lewis and a memorial to U.S. Steel District #1 miners who died in mining accidents.

The site also features a 1920s lamphouse, bathhouse, L&N train depot and loadout system.