Letters from War – A high school sports pundit from a US Army base in England, January 1944

In a letter written on January 30, 1944, Pfc. Irvin Schwartz opined on high school basketball in his native Schuylkill County.

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.

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

“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

“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

“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.