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Beckley, West Virginia: Mortality: Tunnel Death Statue

1995 bronze set in a boulder commemorates the Hawks Nest Tunnel Disaster. Hundreds of workers succumbed to silicosis after digging a 3-mile long water diversion tunnel in starting in 1927. The shirtless figure appears to be sniffing his armpit.

Tamarack Arts and Crafts Center

1 Tamarack Park, Beckley, WV
West side of I-77 at exit 45.
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Armpit Sniffing Statue

The Tamarack Arts and Crafts Center in Beckley, WV has an interesting statue near the front entrance. Titled "Mortality," it is supposed to be a depiction of a dying tunnel worker, but it looks like the guy is sniffing his armpit. The tunnel worker represents nearly 1,000 workers who died breathing silica dust while building the Hawk's Nest Tunnel between 1930-35. The 3-mile tunnel was constructed to divert the New River through a mountain to a hydro-electric plant.

I feel a little remorseful making fun of a solemn memorial, but the man is in a strange pose.

[signmanjoe, 06/15/2016]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Peace Totem Propeller Time CapsulePeace Totem Propeller Time Capsule, Beckley, WV - 2 mi.
Neighborhood MenagerieNeighborhood Menagerie, Beckley, WV - 2 mi.
Exhibition Coal MineExhibition Coal Mine, Beckley, WV - 2 mi.
In the region:
Marker: Original Golden Delicious Apple Tree, Glen, WV - 42 mi.

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