Letters from War – The first letter from the battlefields of Normandy, June 1944

Pfc. Schwartz writes from Normandy in the weeks after the D-Day landings about what he'd read in his hometown newspaper in Pennsylvania.

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 – A powerful Memorial Day letter on the eve of D-Day, 1944

In this remarkable letter, Pfc. Irvin Schwartz reflects on the meaning of Memorial Day on the eve of D-Day and his first experience in combat.

Letters from War – A description of the English countryside, 1944

A brief letter from Pfc. Irvin Schwartz to his former boss at the West Schuylkill Press-Herald in April 1944.

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

Scenes in a Coal Region bar room – 1938

Photographer Sheldon Dick made a visit to the Coal Region in 1938 to document scenes of life and work in the mining towns of northern Schuylkill County. On an evening during his visit, Dick made a swing by a bar room in Gilberton, Pennsylvania and snapped three photographs that bring the setting to life. The … Continue reading Scenes in a Coal Region bar room – 1938

Letters from War – A powerfully written letter on Christmas Day, 1943

This is part of our “Letters from War” 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 Somewhere in England Christmas Day, 1943 5:30 PM Dear. Mr. Reber: Shadows are falling, … Continue reading Letters from War – A powerfully written letter on Christmas Day, 1943

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)