Down in the mines…

As I wrote yesterday, today we drove to Scranton and visited the Lackawanna Coal Mine Tour and Anthracite Heritage Museum. This was part of our WVIA member benefits. We decided I would take the older two and Chip would stay home with the younger boys. It was the longest I’ve ever been away from Daniel!

First stop was the museum. After watching a short film, we toured the displays.

A coal sculpture by an African-American artist titled “Black Is Indeed Beautiful”


A relief carving of a mother and her children. I loved this!


A model of a c. 1935 miner’s home, with a special view of the kitchen.


And from the c. 1902 altar, a banner with Good Saint Anne!


Young ladies didn’t work in the mines, but in the mills, and there were displays of those machines as well.

We didn’t have too long to spend in the museum, because our tour was called to go down in the mind.

First of all, let me say that this was one of the best tours we’ve ever had, and as homeschoolers, we drag the family to a fair few tours. Our tour guide was a master story teller, and did most of his teaching through stories.

Secondly, I hate tunnels. I really hated being underground. Hated. It.

We entered slope #190 in a caged car.

See that light? That’s literally the light at the end of the tunnel. It was pretty stinking small. We went deeper and deeper underground until we were 300 feet under in a mine opened in 1860.


Michael’s been going for the tortured waif look in his photo poses lately. You’d think we really were sending him to work in the mines!


Sorry. It’s hard to get pictures in the dark, dripping coal mines. I am constantly amazed at what humans will do when pressed to eek out a living. I’m equally amazed at how soft we’ve become. I’d like to believe that, if push came to shove, I could live tough and make the sacrifices these men and women (and children!) made for their families, but to be honest, I don’t know if I have it in me. Our forefathers and foremothers were hard core.


Outside again! And posing (again with the tortured waif look) with a 13,000 pound “Black Diamond”.

This certainly was a fascinating way to step into Pennsylvania history!

1 Comment


  1. //

    That was fun to read and see the photos. I think I would have felt claustrophobic going down so far underground away from the light and open space.

    Love the “tortured waif” look. (giggle)

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