Lithuanians Journeyed to U.S. to Work Anthracite

During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, an estimated 300,000 Lithuanians journeyed to America. This number is hard to document fully because census records did not officially recognize Lithuanians as a separate nationality until the twentieth century, and the country’s people may have been reported as Russian, Polish, or Jewish. Several cities and large READ MORE >>


Ukranian Lemkos in the Minersville, Pennsylvania Region

Ukranian Lemkos in the Minersville (Pa.) region. This two-part article was originally published in 2011 and gives an intimate glimpse into family memories and history shared by people in the area of Minersville and the surrounding “patches” of Primrose and Forrestville. In addition, part 2 features information on the Kramer, Olenick, Katchmar, and Pellish families. READ MORE >>


A Description of Life in the Coal Region Pre Civil War

In the autumn of 1931, a reporter from the Millersburg Sentinel sat down with Catherine Myers in her daughter’s home in Lykens to talk about the old days. At the time of the interview, Myers was 91-years-old. Her recollection provides us with something that’s fairly rare in the history of Williams Valley: recollections of the READ MORE >>


The Coal Region and a Living History of Its Polish Connection

“This place is like a time capsule. You guys still talk about Lemkos and Galicia. We don’t even talk about that stuff,” said exchange student Lyudmyla Sonchak during an ethnic festival near Minersville, Pennsylvania. Anthracite Coal Region presents a unique historical demographic. Unlike larger American cities of the industrial heartland such as Chicago, New York, READ MORE >>


The Disappearing Jewish Community in the Coal Region

The disappearance of a Jewish community in a small mining town in Pennsylvania sheds light on the disappearance of many other small Jewish communities that once dotted the American landscape. Upon arriving in America in the late 1800s, many Jewish immigrants were faced with the same problem—earning a living. They were forced to peddle various READ MORE >>


The Coal Region – Railroad Connection

By 1825, the Schuylkill Navigation Company had completed the Schuylkill Canal, which allowed for the transport of anthracite from Pottsville to Philadelphia in barges capable of holding 200 tons. In 1842, the first train by the P & R Railroad (Philadelphia & Reading) from Philadelphia made the trip to Pottsville (Pa.) to compete for the READ MORE >>


The Mahanoy Plane Engineering Feat

The Mahanoy Plane is an engineering feat that moved hundreds of millions of tons of anthracite coal up Broad Mountain, just north of Frackville, PA.  What made this mega-machine run was a tandem frictional rope with a 6,000 horsepower steam hoist at Mahanoy Plane. The anthracite coal from the surrounding 48 collieries went through the READ MORE >>


Mining Anthracite Coal in Pennsylvania during WW2

“Drive for Anthracite”, Made by the Office of War Information for the War Production Board. This is the era of my Dad, although he went from working in the mines to being as soldier in WWII in the Italian Campaign. When he returned to the States, he returned to the mines…


Inside Anthracite Mining

From the 1930s, a great explanation of Anthracite mining and how things work. Filmed at Glen Alden Coal, and I believe it would be the Huber Breaker in Ashley, Pa, outside Wilkes-Barre.