In December 1873, a 4,000 foot tunnel was completed through Big Lick Mountain in Dauphin County. Williamstown Tunnel opened up Bear Valley for profitable coal mining.
"We are men and all we ask is to be treated as such," wrote the miners in a public letter published during their 1886 strike.
Isaac Kunkel photographed the Williamstown Colliery in 1860s and documented the birth of a new town.
The Upper Dauphin Register describes the new town being constructed in Williams Valley in a September 1865 edition.