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

An important moment in Coal Region history took place in a Philadelphia coffee house in 1831

In 1831, a land sale took place at a coffee house in Philadelphia that launched coal mining operations in northern Dauphin County.

“In Scarlet Fever’s Grip” – This 1910 epidemic crippled Lykens and closed schools and businesses

In 1910, an epidemic of scarlet fever spun out of control in the Coal Region community of Lykens and left a trail of bodies in its wake.

A 1919 history of the Short Mountain Coal Company – Wiconisco Township

Founded in 1851, the Short Mountain Coal Company grew rapidly during the Civil War in association with the Pennsylvania Railroad.

Henry Keiser’s ‘reminisicences’ of Lykens and Wiconisco before the Civil War

In May 1927, Henry Keiser described the Coal Region towns where he grew up as they looked in the 1850s.

Baseball game settled score between colliery engineers in Williams Valley

In July 1906, engineers from rival coal mines played for bragging rights in northern Dauphin County.

“This community sustains a great loss” – A fatal mine disaster in Wiconisco Township during the Civil War

On February 7, 1862, a roof collapsed inside the Short Mountain Colliery killing a respected miner and wounding several others.

“A vivid flash of light” – An 1867 lightning strike electrocuted Wiconisco miners 1,000 feet below ground

In June 1867, a thunderstorm passed through Wiconisco, Pennsylvania and electrocuted miners deep within one of the town's coal mines.