When you think of coal mining and coal mining disasters, you don’t think of North Carolina. But the Egypt Coal Mine opened in 1856 in the Deep River Valley in Lee County. It even spawned the Western Railroad, which moved coal to Fayetteville and was in operation during the Civil War.
In 1889 tragedy struck. An explosion killed 43. Five years later another large blast killed 21. Even a change in ownership and name didn’t help the snake-bit operation as the renamed Cumnock Coal Mine experienced financial difficulties and later flooded.
It closed for the last time in 1929.