Seeking descendants of
Cross Mountain Miners for
100th Anniversary of
Mine Disaster in Briceville, TN

9 December 2011

Friends and relatives awaiting news of the rescue
efforts after the Cross  Mountain Mine
explosion in Briceville, Tennessee on
December 9, 1911


WHO: Descendants of miners who died or were rescued after the 1911 Cross Mountain Mine explosion and those interested in preserving Tennessee mining history (Cross Mountain miners --see list of miners)
WHAT: Participate in the dedication of Cross Mountain Miners’ Circle in Briceville being listed on the National Register of Historic Places with students from Briceville Elementary School.  Also, as a special feature, Tony Thomas and friends will perform, singing about the Cross Mountain Mine and the Coal Creek miners for us.
WHEN: 9:00 am until noon on Friday, 9 December 2011
(i.e. 100th Anniversary of the Cross Mountain Mine Explosion and Rescue)
WHERE: Park at Briceville Elementary School, 103 Slatestone Road, Briceville, TN  37710.  After a memorial service at the adjacent Briceville Church at 9:00 am, buses will transport you to Cross Mountain Miners’ Circle Cemetery where the National Register plaque will be installed.  Buses will then transport you to the abandoned Cross Mountain Mine portal and/or back to vehicles at Briceville School.
HOW: Reserve a seat on the bus by contacting Carol Moore at (865) 584-0344 Ext. 102 or  It’s free, provided you RSVP in advance.
Miners of Coal Creek and their families rebuilt from the ashes of the Coal Creek War (1891 to 1892) and the Fraterville Mine explosion (1902), but disaster struck again on 9 December 1911 when the Cross Mountain Mine exploded.  Although 84 miners perished, five were rescued by engineers and apparatus crews from the U.S. Bureau of Mines.  As one of the first successful mine rescues in the United States, lessons-learned at Cross Mountain led to safer working conditions for miners today.

NOTE: Visit the web page of rescuer Philip Francis' great grandson Bailey Francis to learn more about the Cross Mountain miners and their families at

Engineers and apparatus crews from the
Bureau of Mines during the
Cross Mountain Mine rescue efforts

Monument at Cross Mountain Miners'
Circle in Briceville, Tennessee

Thirty-one of the 84 miners who perished are buried in concentric circles around a monument.  The circular arrangement of headstones may be rooted in the Welsh ancestry of early miners to the area and the stone circle monuments in their native land.  Their headstones say they are “gone but not forgotten”, claims which are validated by listing of the site on the National Register of Historic Places.

For questions and to reserve a seat on the bus, please contact Carol Moore at (865) 584-0344 Ext. 102 or


Farewell message of miner Eugene Ault
carved on his headstone

If you are a descendant of a Cross
Mountain miner, please contact us
at or
865-584-0344 Ext. 102


Plaque to be mounted at
Cross Mountain Miners Circle

Directions to Briceville School from Knoxville:

bulletTake I-75 to exit 128 Lake City
bulletFrom Exit 128 ramp, turn right on Norris Freeway
bulletGo to first traffic light and turn left on Highway 25W
bulletSee traffic light past Lake City Library and Community Center. (ShopRite grocery store is on right at light) Turn right onto Hwy 116 at light. Briceville is 3.5 miles down Hwy 116. You will come out at intersection right in front of school

For details and to RSVP, contact Carol Moore at (865) 584-0344 Ext. 102 or  Information on the history of Coal Creek, and the sites to be visited on the tour, can be found at


The Knoxville News Sentinel 4 December 2011
The cries of widows and children - Briceville marks 100 years since explosion tore community apart AND
Friday's Cross Mountain Mine centennial includes ceremonies, tours

The Courier News 13 November 2011
Messages from the past...Messages for the future

The Courier News 13 November 2011
Fraterville mine disaster alters a community

The Oak Ridger -- 26 October 2011
Oak Ridge historians get a crash course in Coal Creek history

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