A decline in coal production over the past decade affected more than just coal miners. It also impacted the riverboat industry. Amherst Madison is a riverboat company based outside Charleston, West Virginia. For decades, the company has made most of their money towing coal barges. But a downturn in coal meant the company had to look for other ways to stay afloat.
West Virginia Public Broadcasting spent some time with these folks inside the river industry, and we asked them what the future of the industry looks like.
Aboard the Dreama G. Woods, Captain Marvin L. Wooten tows five barges of coal along the river (a load of more than 8,000 tons).
He started working for Amherst Madison in 1979. “I got two job offers