Video: A short history of Williamstown Tunnel in northern Dauphin County

On a beautiful, balmy Easter morning, we went for a hike on the slopes of Big Lick Mountain in Williams Township.

The walk up the “Team Road,” the same trip made by thousands of miners over the last 155 years, is among my favorite. The Wynn family made the expedition to the former site of the Williamstown Colliery to shoot the following history video for Facebook Live:


The site of Williamstown Tunnel sits on Pennsylvania State Game Lands and can be accessed relatively easily today:

From 1865 to 1942, coal mining operations were more or less continuous at Williamstown Tunnel.

Williamstown Tunnel 2
At the face of Williamstown Tunnel
Williamstown Tunnel 3
“1856 – 1914”
Williamstown Tunnel 4
Williamstown Tunnel is sealed shut today, but you can still enter the face of the Tunnel
Williamstown Tunnel 1
A Wynn family snapshot from inside the Tunnel with the sun shining in.

Featured Image: Williamstown Tunnel in the late 1860s. This was before the modern facade on the tunnel was completed (1914). 

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3 thoughts on “Video: A short history of Williamstown Tunnel in northern Dauphin County

  1. Greetings from Vicky Kissinger Crosby, the granddaughter of Elmer Ellsworth Kissinger, who was the outside foreman for the mine where you are standing ! He was named after the first man killed in the civil war, Elmer Ellsworth, and his dad, Jorias Kissinger served in the 177th and 210th Pa. Volunteers. The 1908 disaster killed my grandmother’s first husband, Arthur Garfield Hawk. In 1911 Grandma married Elmer, and my dad was the 3rd of their 4 kids. I grew up in Williamstown from 1963 to 1970 , graduated from WVHS and went on to get my degree in Marine Biology, which I taught for 37 years. I am now retired and live in Florida…and I miss my mountains ! Loved your video, and was thrilled to see inside the mine. I love history too ! I am related to a good chunk of Tower City thru my mom’s people- the Bonds, Thompsons, Prices and Gambers.Thanks for this history lesson!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Just a quick checking here to let you know I enjoyed this writing from the FB link I followed. Funny how driving on 209, or any route you might take through upper Dauphin County, and all through coal country also, it is so easy to forget how much history, and life experiences you are driving through.
    They said on a TV show about 8 million stories in NYC I think. It looks like you are adding greatly to the number of stories of this part of the world.

    Liked by 1 person

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