Page 1 of 1

Family ramblings from days gone by.

Posted: Mon. Dec. 25, 2017 11:29 pm
by hank2
I thought I'd relate a few old ramblings about my Dad's side of the family. Involving Anthracite coal mining and living in Pa.

My Grandfather, son of a blacksmith, was a mine carpenter and other things with the Cornwall Iron mine in Lebanon co., Pa. Maybe 1910 to early 1920's. He relocated to the Hegin's valley, Schuylkill co., Pa. and built a nice Sears house. When general carpentry work became scarce during the great depression, he worked as a mine carpenter in coal mines near Sacramento and Hegins for some years. My Dad and his two brothers used to work an outcropping for coal somewhere, on a bootleg basis, a car trunk load at a time. That was their source of cooking and heat. The oldest brother once was a gofer for some moonshiners for a while, until they opened fire on him approaching the still site one day. Granddad took off for the shipyard job boom right after the start of WWII. He died before he ever got back home. I never got to meet him. My Dad and oldest brother were soon off to the Army in the Pacific theatre. Their two sisters had already left home. Remaining at home were my Grandma, my 17 tr. old youngest uncle and his young bride and baby. My young uncle took a job in mine, when work was to be had. He had the bad luck to get deeply buried in a culm pile collapse. A coworker performed nothing less than a miracle with a bulldozer and eventually got him out. My uncle related the experience a couple times to me, getting very emotional about it each time. He said that Lord Jesus appeared to him while buried and told him all would be well. By all accounts there was no rational reason for him to be alive when they dug him out. He lived to be 86.

The same youngest uncle eventually had 3 daughters. One of those cousins married a guy in about 1970,that was a miner for most of his life. Along with some farming, fabrication and everything else. They had 3 daughters as well. He developed blank lung or something similar and died about age 46. Salute to all that still do the work to bring us our black rocks. It's safer job today but maybe over regulated.

Re: Family ramblings from days gone by.

Posted: Tue. Dec. 26, 2017 1:33 am
by VigIIPeaBurner
Great share there hank2! Thank you for sharing that family history. I appreciate the history, especially since my wife's family has some interesting coal region history from that same era.

Re: Family ramblings from days gone by.

Posted: Tue. Dec. 26, 2017 6:41 am
by freetown fred
Nice post H. Thank you. :)

Re: Family ramblings from days gone by.

Posted: Tue. Dec. 26, 2017 8:27 am
by samhill
Thanks Hank, always interesting to hear of how things were back in the days.

Re: Family ramblings from days gone by.

Posted: Tue. Dec. 26, 2017 9:09 am
by Hambden Bob
Hank,Thank You and Merry Christmas To You and Yours'.... !

We need Guys like You and Jack to keep Us firmly planted on where the Coal Life comes from ! If We don't hear the Stories,We Lose !

Re: Family ramblings from days gone by.

Posted: Fri. Dec. 29, 2017 12:04 pm
by Den034071
Hank wonderfull story .Im in Allentown atea maybe we could have breakfast lunch sometime .Jou have kids check out number 9 museum an mine tour its a great tour Not a Disney Land tour .P M me sometime jack

Re: Family ramblings from days gone by.

Posted: Sat. Dec. 30, 2017 12:30 am
by hank2
Thanks, Den. I'll send ya a PM. I wish I had gone to the No. 9 tour when the forum guys went.

Re: Family ramblings from days gone by.

Posted: Sat. Dec. 30, 2017 5:10 am
by Freddy
Thanks for sharing a bit of your life. It wasn't easy back then but your family took it head on & did the best they could.