The Hazel-Atlas Mine and Greathouse Visitor Center will be closed until September 10 while a new exhibit is installed. No mine tours will be available during the construction period. Sidney Flat Visitor Center, located at park headquarters, will be open on weekends during the summer from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The new Black Diamond Coal Mine exhibit, built into the existing Hazel-Atlas silica sand mine, will be an immersive experience taking visitors into a recreated 1870s coal mine, part of California’s largest coal mining operation. All of the original coal mines at the preserve have been closed to the public and permanently sealed for public safety. Visitors to the new exhibit will experience the sights and sounds of a working coal mine from nearly 150 years ago when immigrant miners worked deep in the earth to supply California with the energy needed to power and transform the state’s economy from rural to industrial. The new exhibit is scheduled to open to the public in the spring.
Black Diamond Mines Naturalist Eddie Willis is looking forward to the new addition to the Hazel-Atlas Mine and Greathouse Visitor Center. “We are excited to showcase this new exhibit which will allow visitors to connect more directly with the coal mining legacy of these hills in a safe and educational way,” said Willis.
To help fund the visitor center exhibit, the Regional Parks Foundation secured two grants from the Wayne and Gladys Valley Foundation and Marathon Petroleum.