A Thanksgiving sermon in the aftermath of the 1902 Coal Strike

Rev. John Hensyl spoke to a packed crowd in Shenandoah's Presbyterian Church about poverty on Thanksgiving Day 1902.

Letters from War – Irvin Schwartz welcomed New Year 1944 with the hope that it meant Allied victory

Irvin Schwartz looked forward to 1944 as being the year that he hoped would see the end of World War II.

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

Photograph from the 1860s shows incredible detail of the Shenandoah City Colliery

Pottsville photograph A.M. Allen made a trip to northern Schuylkill County to capture an image of the Shenandoah City Colliery.

A Scottish immigrant’s remarkable working history in 1850s Schuylkill County (Part 2)

This is a piece continued from last week. You can read Part 1 of our brief series on the remembrances of Robert Weir from 1914 HERE.  After describing his arrival in the Coal Region in 1852, Robert Weir turned to discussing his work in Schuylkill County as a hoisting engineer in various collieries in the … Continue reading A Scottish immigrant’s remarkable working history in 1850s Schuylkill County (Part 2)

“The great coal depot” – Illustrations of Port Richmond in Philadelphia in 1852

The development of the rich veins of coal that run beneath Schuylkill County fueled an industrial revolution in the 1850s. And much of the coal that supplied the iron furnaces, steam ships, and kept millions of Americans warm as a home heating fuel traveled to market through America's fourth largest city: Philadelphia. In late 1852, … Continue reading “The great coal depot” – Illustrations of Port Richmond in Philadelphia in 1852

“The Mine Mule Affected by the European War” – 1914

In October 1914, war raged on the European continent. In what was then called the "Great War," industrial-scale war was waged on a massive scale for the first time. Americans were paying attention. A commentator for the Pottsville Republican noted a curious thing about the suddenly mechanized armies smashing each other to pulp on the battlefields … Continue reading “The Mine Mule Affected by the European War” – 1914

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