Bookmark and Share

Community Resource Mapping

Frankie Mooney

Frankie Mooney is a 40-year United Mine Workers of America member and has 22 years of experience in underground coal mines. He has lost a brother, an uncle and his dad to accidents in the mines. He is now permanently disabled from the impact that mining coal has had on his health. He has lived in the town of Twilight all of his life, on property that his family has occupied for generations.

Frankie prospered in the town of Twilight throughout his youth. He enjoyed seemingly endless trails running all over the mountains adjacent to the West Fork of the Little Coal River. When growing up, he says it was the norm that one only needed to go to town every couple of weeks. His family and community used the land and mountains as a means for subsistence and people viewed the mountains as the source of their livelihood.

Frankie served in the military in 1967 and 1968, before returning home to Twilight to where he worked as an underground coal miner starting in 1970. After one week of work he quit, but returned to the mines for a total of 22 years as a union miner. As a retired and disabled coal miner Frankie is working to fix up his property with plans to sell it, and the mineral rights to the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition (OVEC). More info is available at  This is the first step in the creation of the Appalachian Culture School he visions to develop on the property.

Frankie refuses to sell his property for coal removal or to anyone who may sell it to a coal company. He says that he is prepared to stand up and make sure the town of Twilight, home to all his family history, is not lost like the neighboring community of Lindytown.

When Frankie thinks of prosperity, he thinks of the way it was when he grew up. There were several businesses in town, children playing all up and down the street. He envisions his property being used as a school to teach children throughout the valley--and the rest of Appalachia--how to garden, raise livestock, and live off of the land.

Even though mountaintop removal operations are gaining ground faster than ever before into his community, Frankie sees a glimmer of hope for prosperity in his hometown. The county commission funded the re-construction of the local park and softball field. A softball league has drawn people from all over the region and Frankie has enjoyed being the umpire for the regular evening games that bring the community together.

OVEC signed the contract to purchase the first portion of his property in fall 2010. He hopes it will bring new energy, people, and ideas, and breath new life into Twilight and Boone County.