Near Beckley in Raleigh County, West Virginia — The American South (Appalachia)
This bronze, titled "Mortality," is the work of West Virginia sculptor Bill Hopen. His study of a dying tunnel worker eulogizes the many men lying in unmarked graves near Hawk's Tunnel about 30 miles from here. There was no memorial for nearly a thousand workers who died from breathing silica dust during tunnel construction. The tunnel was constructed to divert the New River three miles through a mountain to supply hydro-electricity to a private power plant at Gauley Junction, a subsidiary of Union Carbide Corporation. It was begun in 1930, completed in 1935, and is still in use today. The dam for the tunnel can be seen from Hawk's Nest State Park.
"I think it important that we remember these men as individual souls whose lives were needlessly cut short."
Location. 37° 48.114′ N, 81° 13.018′ W. Marker is near Beckley, West Virginia, in Raleigh County. Marker and sculpture are at Tamarack, the West Virginia cultural heritage and artisan center. Tamarack is accessed from I-77 Exit 45. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: One Tamarack Park, Beckley WV 25801, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other From Agriculture to Mining (within shouting distance of this marker); The Indian Path (within shouting distance of this marker); Bachelor’s Shanty (approx. 1.6 miles away); Superintendent's House (approx. 1.7 miles away); Beckley (approx. 2.3 miles away); Eccles Mine Explosions (approx. 2.3 miles away); Raleigh County (approx. 2.3 miles away); Upper Big Branch Mine Explosion (approx. 2.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Beckley.
Also see . . .
1. Hawk's Nest Tunnel Disaster. (Submitted on July 6, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Hawk's Nest Tunnel Disaster Bibliography. (Submitted on July 6, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. Tamarack: The Best of West Virginia. (Submitted on July 6, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Categories. • Disasters • Environment • Industry & Commerce • Man-Made Features •
More. Search the internet for Mortality.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 5, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 408 times since then and 23 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on July 6, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.