IN MEMORY of a
Northern Coal Field Miners rode their last trip of cars
underground. May they now find the peace and
serenity they never had as an Anthracite Coal
ANTHRACITE LABOR WARS by
Robert P. Wolensky and William A. Hastie SR.
Available from Barns & Nobel, and Anthracite
Heritage Museum. $24.95.
Rails Between Dunmore and
Jessup. The Delaware, Lackawanna & Western's
by Frank P. Adams.
Available from Amazon.com for $12.95.
COAL BARONS OF NORTHEASTERN PENNSYLVANIA
The brutal coal
barons of the 1920's are still oppressing coal
mine workers in Lackawanna County, only now they
are known as the "Lackawanna County
Commissioners". Our three Commissioners, Corey
O'Brien, Jim Wansacz, and Patrick O'Malley
continue to oppose any pay increases for the
three maintenance/tour guides who assist the
foreman at the Lackawanna County Coal Mine Tour,
190 Slope, McDade Park, Scranton, Pa.
All three employees
are paid only $8.85 hour, and listed as part
time, seasonal, tour guides, receiving no
overtime, no holiday pay for working holidays
while the park surface maintenance personnel get
holidays off, and no benefits, even though we
worked mostly 40 hour weeks in 2013. Numerous
attempts to have our status upgraded to full
time maintenance/guides with the same pay and
benefits as the parks surface maintenance
workers have fallen on uncaring, deaf ears. And
as of February 18, our hours were cut to 15
hours a week.
We are in the
process of trying to join SEIU 668, the service
union representing the other full time park
surface maintenance workers and office
secretaries, who are paid an average of
$33,000.00 a year, for cutting grass and raking
leaves, and enjoying the fresh air and sunshine.
The County is fighting the union.
The Anthracite coal
mine tour takes about one hour in the Moffat
Coal Co's 190 Slope mine, which was last worked
in 1968. The visitors are taken down a 1500 foot
long slope in a 28 person enclosed FMC Corp
man-trip car, lowered by a 1972 Superior
Lidgerwood Mundy Corp hoist, to the loading
platform in the Clark vein of coal. The slope is
1500 foot long with the greatest pitch being 24
degrees, and at this pitch, 700 feet down, the
car and cables make the first of two 45 degree
right turns. As a tour guide we take the group
on a walking tour through the gangways,
chambers, rock tunnels, two other veins of coal,
and an airlock, before returning to the Clark
vein loading platform. Along the tour we educate
the visitors in how the miners survived and
worked below the surface.
duties include: cleaning the toilets and
restrooms, vacuuming the carpets of the
ticket/gift shop and hoist building, cutting
grass in the summer, shoveling snow in the
winter, and performing daily and yearly
maintenance down in the mine such as replacing
20 to 25 oak props, rib and boardwalk planks,
track and electrical replacements, and on days
when we get over 250 school students, Ill assist
as a tour guide with the foreman taking over the
I am one of the
three so called seasonal/part time workers at
the Coal Mine Tour. My main job is the weekday
hoist engineer, responsible for the hoist,
cable, and visitors man-trip car's daily
inspection and maintenance, lowering the group
to the Clark loading platform and safely raising
the group back to the surface.
Last season I
hoisted about 25,000 of the 35,500 visitors that
took the coal mine tour, and I worked 41
forty-hour weeks out of our 45 week season. This
is not part time, but full time work, 8 hour
days. All this for an average pay of $16,000.00
a year. With our time cut to 15 hours a week our
yearly pay is reduced to below the poverty level
You, as a coal
miner, or researcher can help in two ways.
First, add the coal mine tour to your summer
vacation schedule this year. We are open seven
days a week from April 2, to November 30.
Second, voice your disapproval of the mine
workers wage discrimination by calling Corey
O'Brien about at 570-963-6800. Or, send a letter
to the Lackawanna County Commissioners office,
mail to: Lackawanna County Commissioners, 200
Adams Ave, 6th Floor, Scranton Pa. 18503, or
e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org ,and
email@example.com. Thanks for your
help and hope to see you all this season.
Carl Orechovsky, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mine Map of Old Forge.
Several researchers asked
for a map showing locations of the mines of Old Forge. This
street map has all the Breakers, Shafts, Slopes,
Drifts, and Air Fans marked on it. Click on the
map to enlarge it
No! Dontcha ?
an IRS 501 (c) (3) TAX EXEMPT charitable organization, incorporated in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
as a non-profit corporation, Pa.
Who we are:
We are a group of diverse researchers dedicated to the
preservation of Anthracite Coal Mining history and the
preservation of our heritage for future
generations. We rely on
donations and grants for office supplies and
funds to conduct research, restore, and acquire
coal mining equipment.
What we do:
Research and post the history of coal mining in
Old Forge, and the Anthracite Coal Field, search for the names of miners killed
in the mines of Old Forge, educate our new
generation about their heritage. Search for hard
to find publications, reports, manuals, stories
about coal mining and local area history. We are host to
the Anthracite Archives, an easy to use, on line repository
for all the Anthracite coal mining information
and history we can locate.
What is in our
Research and create additional pages for the
industries, churches, history, and schools of
Old Forge. Provide an
educational display about coal mining and
history at local events. Rebuild all the mine
cars on display at the Lackawanna County Coal
mine, McDade Park, Scranton. Assist other non-profit
groups with similar interest.
How you can
a donation. Checks can be made to "Old
Forge Coal Mine",
Old Forge Coal Mine, 1214 Lori Lane, Old Forge,
With the state budget severely cut we are in
desperate need of funding resources and supplies.
To our viewers
in China, India, Russia, and Asia. If you don't
send e-mail in English we don't read them.