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
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
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
In the late summer and autumn of 1860, the looming election sparked heated political rhetoric, marches in support of political causes, and whispered talk of a coming civil war. These feelings manifest themselves in a violent skirmish between Republicans and Democrats on the streets of a Wayne County community on September 28, 1860. The fight in Hawley, which started … Continue reading Stone-throwing and gunfire: A riot at a political meeting in Northeastern Pennsylvania in 1860
This is part of our “Letters from Home” series documenting the World War II letters of Irvin Schwartz of Pine Grove, PA. The letters were all published in the West Schuylkill Press-Herald between 1943 and 1945. Read the previous letter here After a brief furlough at home with family in Pine Grove, PA, PFC. Irvin … Continue reading Letters from War – At a “Northern Camp” in November 1943
A photograph from 1891 shows mineworkers posed at the bottom of the Lincoln Colliery breaker.
A travel writer vividly described Pottsville and the surrounding region of Schuylkill County in 1852.
PFC. Irvin Schwartz describes his trip aboard a troop train across the South to Fort Meade in Maryland in October 1943.
A travel writer made a detailed entry about Tamaqua, Pennsylvania in the summer of 1862.
James Fuller Queen sketched Shamokin at a key moment in the history of the Northumberland County community.