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Volume 44, Number 3


On the cover: Smoke pours from the No. 9 mine near Farmington, November 20, 1968, as a helicopter takes methane detections. Sadly, photographer Lawrence Pierce’s image is one of the most iconic in West Virginia history. Photo courtesy of Charleston Gazette-Mail Archives.

Published by the
STATE OF WEST VIRGINIA

Jim Justice, Governor

Randall Reid-Smith, Commissioner
Division of Culture and History

Stan Bumgardner, Editor

Kim Johnson,
Editorial Assistant

Jacob Hall Design
Publication Design

Fall 2018

2 From the Editor
6 The Farmington Mine Disaste
By Stan Bumgardner
19 The 1954 Disaster
By M. Raymond Alvarez and
Stan Bumgardner
22 “Is your dad home from the mines?”
By M. Raymond Alvarez
28 Two Reporters Recall That
Infamous Morning
By John Veasey
30 Bob Campione
By M. Raymond Alvarez
34 Healing Spirits
By Rev. O. Richard Bowyer
40 The James Fork Church Journal
By Rev. D. D. Meighen
46 Nurses at No. 9
By M. Raymond Alvarez
52 Ken Hechler and the
Farmington Widows
By Stan Bumgardner
58 A Rumbling Down Below:
Miners for Democracy
By Christine M. Kreiser
69 Remembering No. 9
By Francene Kirk
73 West Virginia Back Roads:
Alasky’s: Another Name for Farmington By Carl E. Feather
77 The No. 9 Memorial
By John Veasey
80 Comfortably Numb
By Stan Bumgardner
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