The first commercially mined coal in America came from Midlothian, where it was discovered near the French Huguenot settlement on the James River about 1701. During the 18th century, “Mid-Lothian” coal was used to support the Revolutionary War. Thomas Jefferson, in his “Notes on Virginia,” stated that the quality of coal in Chesterfield County was excellent.
During the American Civil War, demand for coal reached its peak with Mid-Lothian Mines sending trainloads of coal to Tredegar Iron Works in Richmond for the casting of cannons for the Confederacy.
Every October the annual Midlothian Mine Day event is offered in conjunction with Midlothian Village Day on the third Saturday of the month. During this event the public can take a guided tour, hear period music performances at the new amphitheater, experience living history displays on coal mining and railroads and children may engage in period games.