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Museum Creates Research Room for Miner Family History

Whipple company store
Wikimedia Commons

A museum and store in Fayette County has created a room where coal miners' relatives can research their family histories.

The Whipple Company Store and Appalachian Heritage Museum in Scarbro converted the old store's butcher shop into a room for genealogical research.

The son of the facility's owners, Victor Mender, tells The Register-Herald that visitors often are descended from area coal miners. He says many people have come in over the years to look at maps and try to find photos of their relatives.

Photographer and historian George Bragg has made prints for the store from his collection of panoramic photos taken by Rufus E. "Red" Ribble. Ribble photographed coal miners and coal towns from 1919 until the 1950s.

The museum also is cataloguing old newspapers for the room.

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