The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

January 13, 2014

Windber Coal Heritage Center closes

Museum director: New management agreement in works

WINDBER — The Windber Coal Heritage Center has closed – at least temporarily – but a new deal apparently is in the works to reopen its doors.

Center Director Chris Barkley said the 15th Street museum’s owners, Rosebud Mining Co., are working with two parties on a management agreement aimed at continuing its mission.

Barkley said he could not discuss details because a deal is not final.

The Windber Coal Heritage Center is marketed as the eastern United States’ “only interactive bituminous coal museum” that tells the story of miners and their families. Windber, which was built by the coal industry in the 1800s, has served as a fitting home for it, but the museum has struggled to stay in operation in recent years, changing hands multiple times.

Signs advising the public about the closure were posted on the center’s doors this week.

“The WCHC will be closed until a new management agreement is signed,” one of the signs noted.

Barkley directed questions about updates to the Windber Coal Heritage Center’s website, which advises the public to check back regularly for new information.

David Hurst covers Windber for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at

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