Clarksburg Library to commemorate No. 9 Mine tragedy

CLARKSBURG — November 20 marks the 54th anniversary of one of most tragic mining disasters in American history. To mark the occasion, the Clarksburg-Harrison Public Library is hosting a program as part of their Author Series.

Noted author Bonnie E. Stewart presents Number 9: Commemoration of the Farmington Mine Disaster, a community discussion and Q&A. Stewart is the author of No. 9: The Farmington Mine Disaster.

At 5:30 a.m. on November 20, 1968, an explosion ripped through the Consol No. 9 coalmine, just north of Farmington. Ninety-nine miners were inside the mine at the time of the explosion. Although 21 miners were able to escape, 78 remained trapped and ultimately perished, with 19 bodies never recovered. While the cause of the explosion was never determined, the tragedy led to the passage of mine safety laws including the 1969 Coal Mine Safety and Health Act, which created the Mine Safety and Health Administration.

Julia Todd, Library Manager and organizer of the Author Series notes that, “The Author Series is always committed to presenting a wide array of programs that bring the community together. The Number 9 Mine disaster was a horrific tragedy in our region and holding a commemoration allows us to remember and reflect on those we have lost. I had the opportunity to attend a previous presentation by Bonnie Stewart on the Number 9 tragedy that left me deeply moved.”

Number 9: Commemoration of the Farmington Mine Disaster will be held on Saturday, November 19 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at the Clarksburg-Harrison Public Library and online via Zoom. For more information and to register, please visit or call (304) 627-2236 ext. 128. Number 9: Commemoration of the Farmington Mine Disaster is sponsored by the Cultural Foundation of Harrison County and the Friends of Clarksburg-Harrison Public Library.