PROVIDENCE, Ky. (WEHT) After more than fifty years of taking coal from Dotiki Mine through Webster County, the last train makes one last trip through Providence.
The Webster County mine stopped production last month.
Trains took these tracks through Providence to Dotiki Mine for several decades. The train going through Providence today was the last one making the trip on the these rails.
“It’s so sad,” says Lisa Nance, who worked at the mine for more than 39 years. “It’s the end of an era in our little county. It’s provided jobs for a lot of people over the years.”
“Dotiki’s been there since 1967. It’s kind of sad it’s going to be the last train out,” adds Rick Andrews of Providence.
More than 20 cars full of coal were the last load out of the mine. Alliance Coal ended production this past summer to focus more on other lower cost mines. Former mine workers say they’re happy people came to watch this last trip, but sad for this era’s end.
“It feels good to know that they care about the community,” says Stephanie Norman, who was a miner at Dotiki for 38 years.
“In our lifetime, we always had a train coming through town. It’s going to be sad. We’re never going to see it again,” adds Robin Throgmorton, who worked at the mine for 11 years.
The last train was dedicated to all the miners who died while working in mines, including Jeremy Elder, who died at a mine outside Madisonville earlier this month.
“He was always really proud of what he did. He always gave at work 110%.” said his wife, Kristi, describing what Jeremy was like. She also says this show of support means a lot to his family.
“The whole community has shown us a lot of support. We felt the love, we felt the prayers, and everybody has been lifted us up with a lot of love,” she says.
As this era goes into history, some worry about what lies ahead for providence’s future.
“It’s going to be quiet,” says Andrews.
(This story was originally published on September 12, 2019)