“My brains and my wits” – A Scottish immigrant recalls his arrival in Schuylkill County in 1852

An 84-year-old sat down with a Pottsville Republican reporter in October 1914 for a discussion about what it was like to live and work in Schuylkill County in the mid-19th century. Robert Weir came to the Coal Region from Scotland in 1852 and found work in the coal mines in the vicinity of Branchdale, Forestville, and Heckscherville. … Continue reading “My brains and my wits” – A Scottish immigrant recalls his arrival in Schuylkill County in 1852

“Our Pottsville Volunteers” – A song about Schuylkill County’s brave Civil War soldiers

When the Civil War broke out in 1861, the bravery and courage of the volunteer soldiers of Schuylkill County immediately became the stuff of legends. The famed "First Defenders," a group that included a sizable number of men from Pottsville and surrounding communities, were among the first to arrive in Washington to protect the United … Continue reading “Our Pottsville Volunteers” – A song about Schuylkill County’s brave Civil War soldiers

Toxic gasses from a burning coal mine claimed the lives of two Tamaqua mining officials in 1858

Pennsylvania's anthracite coal fields have long been known for long-lasting mine fires. The most famous of these environmental disasters continues burning today beneath the empty town lots known as Centralia in Columbia County. Mine fires were a feared menace dating back to the first underground mines in the region. One of the early mine fires … Continue reading Toxic gasses from a burning coal mine claimed the lives of two Tamaqua mining officials in 1858

“As tempting…as California” – A traveler’s guide to Pottsville in 1852

A travel writer vividly described Pottsville and the surrounding region of Schuylkill County in 1852.

A Nazi propaganda magazine from 1945 featured photographs of a Schuylkill County mining operation

A soldier from Schuylkill County was stunned when he found photographs from the Pennsylvania Coal Region in a magazine published in Nazi Germany.