Mid-Lothian Mines & Rail Roads Foundation
c/o Chesterfield County Dept. of Parks & Recreation
6801 Mimms Loop
Chesterfield VA 23832
Mission Statement

To recognize the 300+year history of North America’s first commercial coal mines and to provide educational, cultural, and recreational opportunities through the preservation, reconstruction, and interpretation of the historic coal mining and railroad sites in and around the village of Midlothian.

 

The Richmond Coal Basin, stretching through western Chesterfield, Henrico, and Hanover Counties and eastern Amelia, Powhatan, and Goochland Counties, was the earliest site in the U.S. where fossil fuels were extracted and exploited commercially. By 1730, numerous commercial coal pits were producing tons of coal, which was shipped throughout the eastern seaboard during the colonial era. Coal production fueled foundries that armed Revolutionary armies, and it was significant enough to attract British attack.

 

As the new country took shape, Thomas Jefferson cited the Richmond Basin’s “excellent” coal in Notes on the State of Virginia (1785) and requested it for use in the White House after he was elected. In the early nineteenth century, Chesterfield County was the center of commercial coal production, drawing another British attack during the War of 1812 and prompting investments in innovative transportation (Virginia’s first graveled road and railroad) and other technology. “Company towns” sprang up around the mines, bringing together experienced Welsh, Scots, English and German miners with native whites and blacks, some slave and some free.

 

The Grove Mine Shaft ruin in Midlothian Mines Park is the last structure standing as a reminder of a nearly forgotten chapter in Virginia and U.S. history. We want to shine a light on stories of dirt and danger, risk-taking personalities, new industry and technology, social issues, geology, and physics. You’ll  have a broader view of U.S. and Virginia history once you hear.

 

Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Robert (Peppy) Jones
Board Chair Mr. Thomas F. Garner Jr.
Board Chair Company Affiliation Managing Partner, Tak Tent, LP
Contact Information
Address c/o Chesterfield County Dept. of Parks & Recreation
6801 Mimms Loop
Chesterfield, VA 23832
Telephone 804 796-7075
Fax 804 751-4131
E-mail jonesrp@chesterfield.gov
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 2005
Financial Summary
 
 
Projected Revenue $120,970.00
Projected Expenses $114,670.00
Additional Documents
Mid-Lothian Mines Park Brochure2013View
Statements
Mission

To recognize the 300+year history of North America’s first commercial coal mines and to provide educational, cultural, and recreational opportunities through the preservation, reconstruction, and interpretation of the historic coal mining and railroad sites in and around the village of Midlothian.

 

The Richmond Coal Basin, stretching through western Chesterfield, Henrico, and Hanover Counties and eastern Amelia, Powhatan, and Goochland Counties, was the earliest site in the U.S. where fossil fuels were extracted and exploited commercially. By 1730, numerous commercial coal pits were producing tons of coal, which was shipped throughout the eastern seaboard during the colonial era. Coal production fueled foundries that armed Revolutionary armies, and it was significant enough to attract British attack.

 

As the new country took shape, Thomas Jefferson cited the Richmond Basin’s “excellent” coal in Notes on the State of Virginia (1785) and requested it for use in the White House after he was elected. In the early nineteenth century, Chesterfield County was the center of commercial coal production, drawing another British attack during the War of 1812 and prompting investments in innovative transportation (Virginia’s first graveled road and railroad) and other technology. “Company towns” sprang up around the mines, bringing together experienced Welsh, Scots, English and German miners with native whites and blacks, some slave and some free.

 

The Grove Mine Shaft ruin in Midlothian Mines Park is the last structure standing as a reminder of a nearly forgotten chapter in Virginia and U.S. history. We want to shine a light on stories of dirt and danger, risk-taking personalities, new industry and technology, social issues, geology, and physics. You’ll  have a broader view of U.S. and Virginia history once you hear.

 

Impact

Mid-Lothian Mines Park, a unique reminder of Virginia’s early role in industrial development, represents:

  • North America’s first commercial coal mines

  • Virginia’s first graveled road (Midlothian Turnpike) to haul coal to the docks at Manchester

  • Virginia’s first railroad, to bypass turnpike tolls

  • A source of fuel for all the eastern colonies, Jefferson’s White House, & foundries making weapons for the Revolution, War of 1812, and the Civil War

  • Dirty, dangerous work for immigrants, native whites, slaves , and freemen, often in debt to  “company” housing, stores, schools, doctors, and blacksmiths.

 

Our Foundation made great progress in 2014. We worked closely with Chesterfield County to develop a partnership agreement to add critical additional land and amenities to the Park. The landowner built parking, a lovely amphitheater near the lake and mine headstock replica, and trails throughout. We expect the painstaking operating agreement to be finalized in 2015, opening the way for much expanded educational outreach and fundraising for a museum in the shape of a “company store.”

 

In 2015, in partnership with the County and thanks to $805,000 from DMME, major park improvements, safety features, and educational signage will be installed.

 

Research and educational outreach continue to expand. We spoke to groups including more than 900 individuals, informed newspaper and radio patrons, and hosted our first events in the amphitheater. For 2015, we will develop materials for our first “travelling trunk” of educational materials for schools and clubs, thanks to grant support, and expect to convert the director position to fulltime to increase opportunities for outreach, research, and education.

 

2014 saw expansion of our Board to be more representative of the community and the beginnings of private fundraising to support educational activities and prepare the way for a future capital campaign.

 

Needs
  1. Funding to assist in research, coordination with the schools and curriculum development for children's programs in history, social studies and science.
  2. Funding for capacity-building and administrative support.
  3. Opportunities to speak about Chesterfield County's hidden historical significance in America's industrialization.
  4. Volunteers to help lead tours and to serve as hosts/hostesses for upcoming events, including Midlothian Village Day on October 17, 2015,  and SportsBackers' Tacky Lights Run in December.


Background Unbeknownst even to most Richmonders, the Richmond Coal Basin is the site of the first commercial coal mines in North America. Hauling tons of coal to docks on the James River prompted development of Virginia’s first gravelled road (Midlothian Turnpike) and first railroad (Chesterfield Rail Road), a 13-mile trolley powered by mules and gravity that was the world’s most profitable until steam engines took over. 

 The area’s plentiful coal was shipped to all the Eastern colonial capitals, supplied Thomas Jefferson’s White House at his request, and fueled foundries that supplied our armies during the Revolution, the War of 1812 and the Civil War. That’s why a miner is pictured on the Chesterfield County seal.

Midlothian itself was called Coalfield until a particularly destructive explosion and subsequent accident that flooded the Mid-Lothian Mine drew national attention.

 From its first commercial extraction about 1730 until the Great Depression of the 1930s, coal tantalized investors and entrepreneurs, spurred innovation in mining and transportation, and brought together immigrants, white and free black working men and slaves to toil in dangerous deep pit shafts for 12-hour days six days a week. During the heyday of Midlothian mining in the early nineteenth century, families lived in company housing, shopped in company stores, paid monthly fees to the company blacksmith, doctor and school teacher.

The Mid-Lothian Mines and Rail Roads Foundation is committed to preserving and telling this nearly forgotten story. Mid-Lothian Mines Park on Woolridge Road in northwestern Chesterfield County, Virginia, gives us that opportunity. The relics of mining were preserved and enhanced, its history researched and the land donated to Chesterfield County by Tom Garner and his family. We are deeply grateful for Tom's dedication and generosity.

Areas of Service
Areas Served
Area
Metro Richmond
The Foundation's on-site activities are centered in Midlothian, but educational opportunities are regional and national. We address the role of the Richmond Coal Basin, including parts of Chesterfield, Amelia, Powhatan, Goochland, Henrico, and Hanover Counties, transportation and shipping within the original 13 colonies, as well as early industrial and technological development in the U.S. 
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. Thomas F. Garner Jr.
Company Affiliation Managing Partner, Tak Tent, LP
Term Jan 2005 to Dec 2017
Email tfgarner@comcast.net
Board of Directors
Board Members
NameAffiliation
Ms. Katherine "Holly" Angel Chesterfield County
Mr. J. Temple Bayliss Ph.D.Community Volunteer
Mr. Sean M. Beard Partner, Hunton & Williams
Mrs. Betsy Weaver Brandt Retired Chesterfield County teacher
Ms. Cheryl Diggs Community Volunteer
Mr. Thomas F. Garner Jr.Managing Partner, Tak Tent, L.P.
The Hon. Daniel A. Gecker Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors
Mr. William J. Martin Director, Valentine Richmond History Center
Mrs. Pauline A. Mitchell Community Volunteer
Mr. Robert D. Tulloh Retired General Manager, Otari Corp. of America
The Hon. John C. Watkins Watkins Nurseries, Inc., and Virginia Senate
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 11
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 8
Female 4
Governance
Written Board Selection Criteria? Under Development
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Under Development
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 92
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100
Other Boards
The tables below contain information about other groups that advise this nonprofit on operations and projects.
Comments
We are in the process of transitioning from a very small Board made up of the founder and Chesterfield County officials to recruitment, during 2013-2015, of a more representative Board.
Executive Director
Executive Director Mr. Robert (Peppy) Jones
Staff
Full Time Staff 0
Part Time Staff 1
Contractors 1
Plans
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Under Development
Organization Policy and Procedures Under Development
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
Collaborations
The Foundation works closely with Chesterfield County Parks & Recreation Department, other historical sites in the region and especially County sites such as Henricus and the Chesterfield Historical Society, schools and civic groups.
Programs
Description
Fiscal Year
Projected Revenue $120,970.00
Projected Expenses $114,670.00
Spending Policy N/A
IRS Letter of Exemption
Detailed Financials
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$36,679$65,556$46,347
Administration Expense$7,884$6,458$4,952
Fundraising Expense$15,591$5,462$2,382
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.961.001.60
Program Expense/Total Expenses61%85%86%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue27%7%3%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$144,207$146,519$146,537
Current Assets$144,207$146,519$146,537
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0--
Current Liabilities$0$0--
Total Net Assets$144,207$146,519$146,537
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities------
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? Anticipated In 3 Years
Campaign Purpose We want to build a museum in the guise of a coal company store and another that is a replica of the old rail road station. These will be critical to meeting our mission of preserving and interpreting the history of America's first coal mines.
Goal $0.00
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes
State Charitable Solicitaions Permit
Solicitations Permit
Solicitations Permit 5/2016View
Comments
Foundation Comments
  • If an organization has gross receipts less than $200,000 and total assets at the end of the tax year less than $500,000, it can choose to file Form 990-EZ.