One fateful February morning in 2010, JT Shadrick awoke from a dream that would change his life. After walking to the road to check the mail, he sat down for a cup of coffee with his wife Sue and recounted his vision from the night before.
JT had heard tales all his life of getting certain indications that your time was coming, and while he wasn't sure if this dream had been his sign, he couldn't get it out of his head.
In his dream, he wandered a funeral home filled with coal mining mementos, much like those that filled JT's own home. His dream told him that his children weren't interested in coal mining, and if he wanted for his treasured coal mining artifacts to have a home when he was gone, he needed to get them out of his house and into a permanent home, somewhere like a museum.
From that day forward, JT attended meetings with the Whitwell City Council getting everything In order until September 2 when he finally got approval to house the museum in the building off of Main Street.
Once the museum had its home, JT reached out to all of the retired coal miners in Whitwell, because he knew that everyone had some memento or artifact locked up in their closet or basement. The coal miners of Whitwell entrusted their keepsakes to JT, and before long the museum was ready to open its doors.
They held an open house and a ribbon cutting on November 9, and since then the Whitwell Marion County Coal Mining Museum has held a place in the heart of Whitwell.