NEPA Scene Staff

NEPA virtual programs and broadcasts observe Anthracite Mining Heritage Month throughout January

NEPA virtual programs and broadcasts observe Anthracite Mining Heritage Month throughout January
Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

From a press release:

The Lackawanna Historical Society in Scranton will once again join regional partners in observing Anthracite Mining Heritage Month throughout January. This annual event focuses on the history and culture of Northeastern Pennsylvania’s coal region. Because of health concerns this year, all events will be conducted online via Zoom.

The society will sponsor a lecture on Wednesday, Jan. 27 at 2 p.m. with Professor Richard G. Healey of the School of the Environment, Geography, and Geosciences at the University of Portsmouth in the United Kingdom. Healey has been traveling from England for more than 30 years to conduct original research using the society’s collection of payroll records from the DL&W coal department. His program, “The Miners of the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad Coal Department During the Civil War Era: Some Recent Findings,” will be of interest to genealogists and will highlight a searchable index he is creating to document and trace individuals in the coal fields in the early days of Scranton. To get the Zoom meeting link, email the society at in advance of the program.

Other events for Anthracite Mining Heritage Month will be sponsored by the Pennsylvania Anthracite Heritage Museum; the Anthracite Heritage Foundation; King’s College; WVIA Public Broadcasting; the Luzerne County Historical Society; the Knox Mine Disaster Memorial Committee; the Pennsylvania Anthracite Section of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration; and the National Museum of Industrial History in Bethlehem. A full schedule is listed below.

Throughout the month of January, WVIA public radio and television in Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania will organize a special series of programs. WVIA will post links to the station’s video and audio features dealing with regional history at so those who interested persons can watch/listen to these programs at their convenience. WVIA will also broadcast “The Knox Mine Disaster” documentary, written and narrated by Erika Funke in 1984, as part of the station’s afternoon “Learning at Home” schedule and will promote the film to teachers as a local history lesson. Additionally, Funke will post several anthracite-related interviews and other features on “ArtScene” and “Keystone Edition.”

Sunday, Jan. 17 at 9 a.m.: The annual Knox Mine Disaster Memorial Mass at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church (35 William St., Pittston). The mass can also be seen at: There will be no annual public commemoration at the Knox Disaster’s PHMC marker following the mass, nor will the annual walk to the disaster site be held this year.

Thursday, Jan. 21 at 7 p.m.: King’s College and the Anthracite Heritage Foundation hosts the annual Msgr. John J. Curran Lecture with speaker Paul Shackel, Department of Anthropology, University of Maryland. The topic is “Remembering the Lattimer Massacre of 1897” with moderator Thomas Mackaman, Department of History, King’s College. Join the Zoom meeting here.

Friday, Jan. 22 at 7 p.m.: The Luzerne County Historical Society hosts “Family Life in the Coal Region” with speakers Mark Riccetti, Director of Operations & Programs, LCHS, “Women and Children, The Other Side of Anthracite Life;” Tristin Millazzo, Cumberland County Historical Society in Carlisle, “The Lives of Mining Wives;” and Nicole Kolessar, Department of History, University of Delaware, “Ellen Webster Palmer and the Breaker Boys.” Join the Zoom meeting here.

Saturday, Jan. 23 at 6:30 p.m.: The Anthracite Heritage Museum hosts the annual Knox Mine Disaster Commemoration with speaker Bode Morin, Historic Site Administrator, Anthracite Heritage Museum. The topic is “After Knox: Remediation, Heritage, and Regeneration Values on the Anthracite Landscape,” plus anthracite music by Jay Smar and a tribute to the late William A. Hastie Sr. The moderator is Bob Wolensky, Department of History, King’s College. Register to join the Zoom meeting here.

Monday, Jan. 25 at 7 p.m.: The Anthracite Division of the American Institute of Mining Engineers presents speaker Michael Korb, AIME-Anthracite Division Past President. The topic is “The Carnegie Hero Medal in Northeastern Pennsylvania Mining.” Join the Zoom meeting here; ID 450 213, Zoom Meeting ID 450 213 4358. Contact Mike Korb at for more information.

Saturday, Jan. 30 at 2 p.m.: The Anthracite Heritage Museum hosts “An Industrial History Tour of Scotland, England, and Wales, June 25-July 7, 2021” for anyone interested in next summer’s industrial history tour of the U.K. sponsored by the Anthracite Heritage Museum. The speakers are Beth Landmesser, Bode Morin, Robert Wolensky, tour leaders, and a person from the travel agency in Cardiff, Wales. For more information about the tour, call 570-963-4804. Join the Zoom meeting here.

Founded in 1886 as the Lackawanna Institute of History and Science, the Lackawanna Historical Society provides the community with a record of local history through its museum and library collections, exhibits, and programs. In 1942, from the bequest of George H. Catlin, the society established its permanent home at Catlin’s 1912 residence at 232 Monroe Avenue in Scranton.

In 1965, Lackawanna County designated the Lackawanna Historical Society as the official county historical society, and the society continues to serve the county as a center for local history resources. It receives funding from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, the Catlin Memorial Trust, Lackawanna County, and memberships.

Photo from the Library of Congress