This mine was the site of the Monongah mining disaster of 1907, killing over 300 workers. By the late 21st century, the mine was largely exhausted, depriving the town of Monongah of its primary source of work and income. The coal mine was rented out by the township to Hornwright Industrial Mining Company in 2075, in return for royalty payments until the mine ran dry. While the town hopped on the chance, Hornwright had no intention of paying these royalties for long and committed a substantial number of Auto-Miners to excavate the mine's remaining coal deposits under the supervision of Deke Sykes. Once the deposits ran dry, and they quickly ran dry with the Auto-Miners exploiting them at full power, the corporation simply packed them up and prepared to move on, ignoring the plight of the now impoverished town.
In January 2076, when the mine had run dry, locals and former miners from Monongah had rallied at the entrance of Monongah Mine to steal equipment. As Hornwright Industrial prepared to leave the mine that January, Earle Williams and some other townsfolk drunkenly decided to steal some supplies from the mine before everything was taken away. However, while they were deep in the mine, the supervisor Deke Sykes blew up the entrance trapping everyone inside.
Some family members, such as Maggie Williams, attempted to clear the rubble with their bare hands, but a cover-up was already underway by Hornwright Industrial. Family and residents of Monongah were told everyone that was trapped in the mine had left town, an effort to avoid liability for trapping residents inside the mine and to avoid paying for an expensive rescue mission.
In the mine, Earle Williams and the others were facing a difficult decision: there was no food in the mine, but one of the miners, James, died from injuries sustained from the entrance collapsing. Several survivors agreed to cannibalize his corpse, including Williams, though others refused and stated they would rather die and be eaten than eat another person. Williams questioned whether it was right to eat the corpses of those that starved, but being trapped in the mine left him and the other cannibals with little choice. Trapped in the mine with no sense of night and day further disoriented his senses and wore on his sanity. This gradual decline became a slippery slope for Williams as he described the struggle he experienced, feeling as if he was unable to wait until others had died to consume them.
By 2103, Earle Williams had mutated into a wendigo colossus. However, Earle's daughter Maggie had not forgotten over the past 27 years, and is looking for help from the Vault Dwellers to determine his fate.
While the road in front of the mine is heavily fortified by raider structures, the mine complex itself is otherwise intact. The loaded Hornwright flatbed remains parked in the center, surrounded by trailers used by the miner crews while the mine was still operational. There are no crafting stations here, however, and the mine itself is inaccessible due to a landslide over the entrance. The worker housing up the hill to the north is boarded up and has only minor loot. One part of this location contains an Expert-level safe. As noted in the safe note, the key is the garden gnomes. The key to this safe is in the middle of three blue garden gnomes, found on the roof of a destroyed bus.
The mine's interior consists of a long tunnel that ends up prematurely in a large cavern, a horizontal mine shaft leading down into an even larger cavern, and a sloped tunnel leading back up to the first cavern. The tunnel is caved in at several spots, forcing a detour after entering the mine. To the left is an inaccessible door to a room with a trunk and several junk items. The room becomes accessible during the event quest. To the right is a small changing room with some metal lockers, a tinker's workbench and a chemistry station. The door next to the chemistry station leads to a small restroom, where three quantum bears can be found in a sinister position. The path left of the tinker's workbench leads back to the tunnel which in turn leads to the first cavern.
The first cavern contains several workbenches, a couple of malfunctioning extractors on the sidewalls and a blue Hornwright Industrial trailer in the middle. Several defunct Auto-Miners are also present. The horizontal mine shaft is located on the righthand wall, the rubble blocking it will disappear after five minutes have passed during the event quest.
The second cavern is located underneath the first and is reached by dropping down the mine shaft. It is home to many wendigo spawns and their overlord. It contains more malfunctioning extractors, defunct Auto-Miners and some human corpses. On the far left wall is an exit in the form of a long sloped tunnel, that is blocked by rubble until Earle Williams is dead and leads back up to the first cavern. There is also a still-active large drill bit sticking out of the wall near the exit that must be avoided as contact with it is instantly fatal.
- Safe note - Note, on a desk inside of a shack outside of the mine.
- Raider's note - Note, on a shelf near the mine entrance. It only appears during the quest Something Sentimental.
- Monongah Mine safe key - On the roof of a trailer, surrounded by blue garden gnomes. Opens the safe next to the mining supervisor's terminal.
- Raider power armor - Found directly north of the mine, at a small raider camp.
- Potential recipe - North of the mine, on a small table along the cliffside, at an unmarked location which is a possible Nukashine spawn point after drinking the beverage.
The interior is only accessible during the A Colossal Problem event.
- A father's goodbye - Holotape, on a wooden barrel next to a floodlight, immediately after entering.
- One choice - Note, next to a miner hat in the collapsed tunnel where the first wendigo spawn appears.
- Ghosts? - Note, on a pushcart to the left of the armor workbench in the large cavern before descending to the boss fight.
- Earle's journal #1 - Note, in a metal locker near the tinker's workbench at the entrance area.
- Earle's journal #2 - Note, next to a radio inside the blue Hornwright Industrial trailer at the center of the large cavern before descending to the boss fight.
- Potential magazine - On the small table underneath the radio inside the blue trailer.
- Behind the mine complex there are a group of houses, one of which has a biplane crashed into it. A skeleton strapped to an airplane seat is found below.
- The functioning drill in Earle Williams' mine section will kill players and wendigo spawns that approach it.
Behind the scenes
- Monongah terminal entries
- Monongah Mine terminal entries
- A Vault Dweller: "When did this happen?"
Maggie Williams: "This was back in January of '76, after Hornwright cleaned out everything that they could from the mine."
(Maggie Williams' dialogue)
- Monongah Mine terminal entries; mining supervisor's terminal, Supervisor's Notes - 01.07.76
- A Vault Dweller: "How did he end up in Monongah Mine?"
Maggie Williams: " They kept goin' on about getting the last of what they could before that Deke Sykes from Hornwright Industrial closed up the mine. Well, that son of a bitch ended up blastin' the entrance closed with everyone still inside."
(Maggie Williams' dialogue)
- A Vault Dweller: "Why didn't anyone try to get them out?"
Maggie Williams: " They told me that my pops ran off, and said the others left Monongah since there was no more work. I think it was some sort of cover up. They either got paid off by the Hornwrights to keep quiet, or they didn't want to deal with the expenses of a rescue mission."
(Maggie Williams' dialogue)
- One choice
- Earle's journal
- Fallout 76 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide p. 405: "18. MONONGAH MINE:
This mine complex was recently taken over and then abandoned by Raiders. Currently, strange other creatures lurk among the roadside fortifications and mine yard. Though there's no interiors to explore, expect to check a road block (near the electrical pylon) by the large "Monongah Mine" sign. Farther up Route 95 is another Raider blockade. The mine consists of a red water tower, various trailers, and a curved roof but its entrance is blocked by fallen rock. Farther up the hill to the east are three boarded-up houses."
(Fallout 76 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide Atlas of Appalachia)
- Events of Something Sentimental and A Colossal Problem
- QuakeCon at Home 2020: Fallout 76 - A Colossal Problem Boss Event (reference starts at 02:30:25)