Today we’ve taken a moment to pause and remember those lost 35 years ago in one of the worst mining accidents in Tennessee when 13 men perished on December 8th, 1981 in the Grundy Mining Company’s (a subsidiary of Tennessee Consolidated Coal) Number 21 Mine in an unincorporated area between Whitwell and Palmer, Tennessee.
That day we lost 13 miners…all of them men. They were also husbands, sons, grandfathers, uncles, cousins, brothers, friends and members of our community.
May they continue to R.I.P. and may we never forget them or those that went before them and their legacies through the tragedy that brought such sorrow to our community that day.
To keep our region’s coal mining history alive in their honor, we suggest visiting the Whitwell / Marion County Coal Miner’s Museum sometime — if you haven’t already! The museum documents the history of coal mining in the United States, with special emphasis on mines in Whitwell and Marion County. It’s open weekdays from 8am-4pm CST and Saturday from 8am-Noon CST. There is no charge to visit, but donations are always welcome. The museum is located at 900A Main Street in Whitwell at the former library location and can be contacted at (423)658-6868. More info is available online at www.CoalMinersMuseum.com or on their Facebook Page.
Here’s a link to an article from the AP and New York Times and another from UPI regarding the tragedy, dated December 9th, 1981:
- AP: WHITWELL, Tenn. — EXPLOSION KILLS 13 IN TENNESSEE MINE
- UPI: Appalachain mine explosion kills 13 workers