Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

January 15, 2013

Upper Big Branch memorial website launched

By Wendy Holdren
For the Daily Telegraph

The Upper Big Branch Miners Memorial in Whitesville can now be visited from all around the world.

A new interactive website,, is up and running.

The site features short biographies of the 29 miners who lost their lives in the mine explosion, photos, news and events, as well as a virtual tour of the memorial.

The Upper Big Branch Mining Memorial Group partnered with Bulldog Creative Services of Huntington to develop the site.

The company donated the majority of its time and work as a gift-in-kind to the memorial project.

“It’s been a great honor to work with the volunteers of the Upper Big Branch Miners Memorial Group,” said Ashleigh Graham-Smith, senior account executive.

“The architecture and craftsmanship of the monument speaks volumes and it was our intention to create a website that would not only showcase the beauty of the monument, but to pay tribute to the great men of the Upper Big Branch Mine.”

The website comes just six months after the memorial was opened.

In addition to the virtual tour and miner biographies, a community page offers directions to the memorial, local eateries and gas stations, as well as other coal-related tourism sites in the state.

Memorial group president Sheila Combs said the website will serve as a tribute to the men lost at UBB and as a tool to attract visitors to the memorial.

“We felt a quality website should be the basis of our marketing strategy. It was important for us to have a web presence that commemorates the miners and showcases the memorial. We researched a number of companies and Bulldog Creative Services offered everything we needed. The finished product exceeded our expectations.”