Four Christmases – Holiday excerpts from Henry Keiser’s Civil War diary

Four diary entries from the Civil War document the evolution of holiday experiences of a soldier from Pennsylvania's Coal Region.

An 1835 visit to the mines at Wiconisco Township

In 1834 and 1835, a scientist named Constantine Samuel Rafinesque traveled widely through Pennsylvania in order to document the geology and biology of the Keystone State. In the spring of 1835, the Turkish-born polymath traveled north from Harrisburg aboard canal boats alongside the Susquehanna River to Millersburg. In his book, A Life of Travels, Rafinesque details … Continue reading An 1835 visit to the mines at Wiconisco Township

An important moment in Coal Region history took place in a Philadelphia coffee house in 1831

In 1831, a land sale took place at a coffee house in Philadelphia that launched coal mining operations in northern Dauphin County.

“The Impending Strike” – Lykens on the eve of the 1902 Coal Strike

On the eve of the 1902 Coal Strike, the communities of Lykens and Wiconisco were ripped by tension as residents awaited news.

A 1919 history of the Short Mountain Coal Company – Wiconisco Township

Founded in 1851, the Short Mountain Coal Company grew rapidly during the Civil War in association with the Pennsylvania Railroad.

Henry Keiser’s ‘reminisicences’ of Lykens and Wiconisco before the Civil War

In May 1927, Henry Keiser described the Coal Region towns where he grew up as they looked in the 1850s.

“This community sustains a great loss” – A fatal mine disaster in Wiconisco Township during the Civil War

On February 7, 1862, a roof collapsed inside the Short Mountain Colliery killing a respected miner and wounding several others.

“A vivid flash of light” – An 1867 lightning strike electrocuted Wiconisco miners 1,000 feet below ground

In June 1867, a thunderstorm passed through Wiconisco, Pennsylvania and electrocuted miners deep within one of the town's coal mines.