One of the least safe mines in Appalachia, Kerwood Mine was already barely holding together before the resource crisis, and the increasing coal demand due to the Sino-American War did it no favors. Miners were working around the clock to tear the black gold from the Appalachian Mountains, trying to make a living before they were inevitably replaced by robots, or killed in the aftermath of Atomic Mining Services' experimental underground nuclear tests meant to accelerate production. Foreman Sam Bailey started his job just as the situation was getting worse, in August 2077.
He quickly found an issue with boss Roy Kerwood, who was immune from firing because of his uncle's connections within Atomic Mining Services. Kerwood leveraged his standing to embezzle funds intended for miners, leave keys in random places and other issues. The foreman's repeated attempts to get him removed consistently floundered on the rocks of nepotism. Ever thankful for simply having a job in the economy, by September he was gripped by a fear that the mine would be his death. By October 17, the premonition proved to be quite accurate: AMS' nuclear detonations caused a quake in the mine, collapsing half the tunnels of the mine simultaneously, together with the main mine shaft, killing 17 miners instantly and trapping another 32 deep in the mine after the lower network was flooded. The radioactive contamination made any rescue attempt impossible and neither Bailey nor the structural engineer knew how to attempt a rescue. Breaking through the locker room into the old shaft did not help either, as it also flooded.
No rescue was made and the miners died, alone and abandoned. After the Great War, Bailey holed up in the mine, with nowhere else to go. He had some supplies, a bottle of whiskey and constant company from what seemed to be screams coming from deeper in the mine.
The layout of the mine consists of three above-water sections connected by flooded tunnels. The layout may be challenging to traverse as visibility is limited underwater. The player character must swim (or walk on the bottom if in power armor) to get to the other above-water areas. There is no breath limit when swimming or walking underwater.
When entering the mine, there is a maze of train tracks with ticks. One path leads down a small passage to a larger room. On the righthand side, there is a non-pickable barred door to an office area. The key is in one of the areas that the player character must swim to. In this initial area is a generator with a fusion core and an elevator shaft (the elevator does not work). There are tracks curving to the left with a mining cart. Heading down this path, the tracks split. Going straight ahead leads to a caved-in wall. A small cavity that holds random loot can be found to the right. Heading left leads to a flooded passage. Swimming into the flooded tunnel or dropping down the elevator shaft (dropping down from the previously-visited initial area) are the two ways to enter the rest of the mine. There are random ghouls, mole rats, and mole miners in the dry areas, but there are no combatants underwater. One of these dry areas (accessed by jumping down the elevator shaft and following the tracks northward) has a Kerwood Mine key on a desk for the locked door near the entrance. It is also possible to come back to the entrance tunnel through a hole in the back wall of the locked area.
The next dry area contains mole miners and other creatures. In this area is a locked door which can be opened with the Kerwood Mine key. This leads to yet another underwater area and, finally, yet another dry area through which the barred office area can be reached.
In the locked area are lockers, lunch pails and a security gate that leads to the foreman's office. The office has a terminal that can be used to unlock a safe. Another room connected to the foreman's office has a metal box and tool shelf with a hazmat suit on the second level.
- BoS report - Kerwood - Holotape, on a table near the locked blue double doors.
- Stop taking the key! - Note, in the northernmost chamber/recreation room, past the flooded chambers.
- Dyving soot - Note, pinned to a crate beside the pool providing access to the underwater, flooded areas of the mine.
- Kerwood Mine key - Key, in the northernmost chamber/recreation room, near the steamer trunk and the Stop taking the key! note, past the flooded chambers.
- Kerwood back tunnel key - Key, in a blue file cabinet, to the right of the hidden valuable underneath the eye protection sign, in the northeasternmost underwater section. Used during Supplying Demands.
- Three hidden valuables - Quest items, scattered throughout the underwater chambers during Supplying Demands:
- After diving into the pool past the Dyving soot note, go north through a small cave hallway, past a large yellow machine. One is on the ground under an eye protection sign.
- In the underwater room with a lone portalet on a platform, near some brain fungus and junk items. It is north of the location of the Kerwood back tunnel key.
- Along the railroad track just before surfacing into the area that leads to the back tunnel (the objective during Supplying Demands).
- Four potential Vault-Tec bobbleheads:
- In a mine alcove before descending into the water, close to a junction with an explosive canister, near a support strut and wooden crate.
- Southeast of the main mine tracks, just above the cave-in that blocks the track tunnel, in a small dead-end alcove, near a support strut and ammo box.
- In the flooded cavern with the huge yellow extractor fan on the ceiling, underwater on the metal platform, inside a green plastic outhouse, inside the "effluent hole."
- In the steamer trunk cavern, southwest of the red trunk and close to an orange forklift, hidden with the wood crate, explosive canister, yellow crate trolley, and netted crates.
- Four potential magazines:
- In the junction cavern with the "Eye Protection" poster, near a Nuka-Cola bottle and a large central metal and rock shaft column, on the ground by the toppled metal shelving and a toolbox.
- In the waterlogged chamber linking the underwater area to the destroyed mine tracks, on the northeast side of the slag heap, near an explosive canister.
- In the junction cavern, by the explosive canisters, left of the red trunk, on the metal table with a lantern.
- On the blue mainframe computer bank along the wall of the monitoring room with the locked double doors (key) accessed when leaving the mine, close to the fusion core generator (on the other side of the door).
- Power armor chassis - Can spawn in one of the dry areas that must be swum to. It is in a very short side passage in the same dry area as the key. It is standing in very shallow water.
- Two potential recipes:
- Inside the western shack closest to the mine entrance, on a small rolling table on the left.
- After the flooded section inside the mine.
- Fusion core - In a fusion generator near the entrance. Another can spawn in one of the other dry areas.
- Three miner uniforms with miner hats.
Kerwood Mine appears only in Fallout 76.