Bootleggers

General energy and coal related topics, news and basic information. If you do not know where to post your topic post it here.
Breakerboy
Member
Posts: 91
Joined: Sat. Feb. 15, 2014 2:11 pm
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman DVC 500
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Other Heating: Keystoker Oil Boiler Cast iron Standing Radiators

Post Thu. Feb. 27, 2014 3:21 am

Anyone have a history of Bootlegging ??? Since I'm posting this question in a coal forum I'm going to assume you people know the type I'm talking about...
Growing up and living in the hard coal region of Schuylkill County A.K.A "The Skook" I always knew family members worked long hard hours in the local mines for the big mining companies of the area some started just days off the boat from the "Old Country " Ireland and Scotland ...
What I found out later is that a few took mining anthracite to a whole new level of dangerous, they became Bootleggers ... Quick history lesson for those not quite sure what this is .. Back in the early to mid 1900 coal miners were striking and fighting the big company owned mines for reasons such as too long of work days unsafe working conditions and low wages .. Without the miners working the company's production and huge profits came to a screeching halt... The big companies fired back at the workers by bringing in new miners to replace the ones not willing to get back to work... Having family's to feed some simply held off as long as they could but eventually went back to working for the big companies but some took it apon them selfs to still mine anthracite but not for the man but for there selfs and family known as Bootlegging.. My fathers two uncles were Bootleggers they decided to do there own mining with no help of equiptment other than blood sweat and tears and of course the minimal hand tools and a bit of not so fancy engineering .. Most miners who decided to go this un orthodox route mined coal on company land or private property that belonged to county or someone else .. Long story short here the miners dug there own hole in the earth were they figured there was a vein of coal or should I say hoped there was a vein of coal crawled down inside it some really deep and not big at all just enought to swing a pick usually while sitting chopped and shoved coal into buckets and and another miner pulled buckets to surface some times my great uncles broke it into stove type pieces and others not .. They pilled it up got a truck up to the pile loaded the truck and drove off on the weekends to sell it but not before filling there own bins usually Sunday after church .. This was illegal for reasons I mentioned earlier not there property for one and stealing the companies coal ... Talk about rough and dangerous I couldn't imagine the work involved for the little amount of money I can go on and on about what they told me as a kid but I leave it rest at that .. Just wondering if anyone else had Bootleggers in the family.. BTW : I know where the mined they hole is still there open ?? Dunno and I'm not about to find out I go to the breaker to get my coal but it's neat to look at....


User avatar
Lightning
Member
Posts: 8306
Joined: Wed. Nov. 16, 2011 9:51 am
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Overmodified/Bored out Clayton 1537
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite/Awesome Size
Location: Olean, NY

Post Thu. Feb. 27, 2014 4:18 am

Wow fascinating story! Sounds like a tough way to make a living.. Thanks for sharing. :)

GA cracker
Member
Posts: 193
Joined: Sun. May. 15, 2011 6:36 am
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark iii
Coal Size/Type: nut
Other Heating: Central heat and air
Location: Williamsport PA

Post Thu. Feb. 27, 2014 5:07 am

Where I come from bootlegging usually involved corn:)
Cracker

User avatar
Flyer5
Verified Business Rep.
Posts: 10382
Joined: Sun. Oct. 21, 2007 4:23 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Leisure Line WL110
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Leisure Line Pioneer
Location: Montrose PA
Contact:

Post Thu. Feb. 27, 2014 6:08 am

My grandfathers and great uncles were coal miners. Not sure if any bootlegging was done.
http://www.leisurelinestove.com


You know when people say it was "better back in my day"?

They were right.

User avatar
michaelanthony
Member
Posts: 3989
Joined: Sat. Nov. 22, 2008 10:42 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vigilant 2310, gold marc box stove, vogelzang pot belly coat rack
Baseburners & Antiques: Home Sparkle 12
Coal Size/Type: Coal Contractor's stove, a little Kimmels 'nut
Other Heating: Very cold FHA oil furnace
Location: millinocket,me.
Contact:

Post Thu. Feb. 27, 2014 7:45 am

Breakerboy, you might enjoy this video.

Hard Coal: Last of the Bootleg Miners
never yell through a screen...you'll strain your voice.

User avatar
labman
Member
Posts: 176
Joined: Mon. Jan. 04, 2010 11:46 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: harman mk II
Coal Size/Type: nut
Location: Franklin County, Pa

Post Thu. Feb. 27, 2014 12:50 pm

very nice history lesson. Bootleggers in my part of pa were something different completely. None in my family, but my Uncle told a story of some horse thieves in our family back in the 1800's! Dig deep enough and we all have some bit of interesting history.
Ken S.

Breakerboy
Member
Posts: 91
Joined: Sat. Feb. 15, 2014 2:11 pm
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman DVC 500
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Other Heating: Keystoker Oil Boiler Cast iron Standing Radiators

Post Fri. Feb. 28, 2014 12:35 am

michaelanthony wrote:Breakerboy, you might enjoy this video.

Hard Coal: Last of the Bootleg Miners
I did enjoy the video thank you..

Breakerboy
Member
Posts: 91
Joined: Sat. Feb. 15, 2014 2:11 pm
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman DVC 500
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Other Heating: Keystoker Oil Boiler Cast iron Standing Radiators

Post Fri. Feb. 28, 2014 12:36 am

GA cracker wrote:Where I come from bootlegging usually involved corn:)
Cracker
Lol I've been called worse..


grimmy
Member
Posts: 34
Joined: Sun. Mar. 02, 2014 7:50 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Dovre
Coal Size/Type: nut

Post Mon. Mar. 03, 2014 9:42 pm

The bootleggers were also known later on as Independent Miners. Bootlegging still goes on, just under different circumstances. I have taken part in bootlegging activity myself, and we paid the price from MSHA. We are Bootleggers, Independent Miners, and the proudest men you'll ever come across. PA anthracite deep miners are a totally different kind of mining than anything else. Hard coal is hard core, picks, shovels, and drills. We mine the same now as it was done 100 years ago. Independent Miner #45

User avatar
Flyer5
Verified Business Rep.
Posts: 10382
Joined: Sun. Oct. 21, 2007 4:23 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Leisure Line WL110
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Leisure Line Pioneer
Location: Montrose PA
Contact:

Post Mon. Mar. 03, 2014 9:48 pm

grimmy wrote:The bootleggers were also known later on as Independent Miners. Bootlegging still goes on, just under different circumstances. I have taken part in bootlegging activity myself, and we paid the price from MSHA. We are Bootleggers, Independent Miners, and the proudest men you'll ever come across. PA anthracite deep miners are a totally different kind of mining than anything else. Hard coal is hard core, picks, shovels, and drills. We mine the same now as it was done 100 years ago. Independent Miner #45
:cheers:
http://www.leisurelinestove.com


You know when people say it was "better back in my day"?

They were right.

Breakerboy
Member
Posts: 91
Joined: Sat. Feb. 15, 2014 2:11 pm
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman DVC 500
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Other Heating: Keystoker Oil Boiler Cast iron Standing Radiators

Post Tue. Mar. 04, 2014 5:09 am

grimmy wrote:The bootleggers were also known later on as Independent Miners. Bootlegging still goes on, just under different circumstances. I have taken part in bootlegging activity myself, and we paid the price from MSHA. We are Bootleggers, Independent Miners, and the proudest men you'll ever come across. PA anthracite deep miners are a totally different kind of mining than anything else. Hard coal is hard core, picks, shovels, and drills. We mine the same now as it was done 100 years ago. Independent Miner #45
I have the utmost respect for you guys I can only imagine the labor involved ... Yes Independent miners are the modern day bootleggers but most now have permits there own property and don't have to sneak off to sell there hard earned coal... All that aside it is a back breaking job that I would think needs to be in ones blood ... I was offered a chance to go into a mine with a independent operation around My area that I stumbled on while Spring Turkey hunting 10 years back way up in the mountain ... I was amazed at what I saw , Very nice older couple running things at ground level while younger man was lowered down a shaft and towed back out by a cart and cable that was attached to the rear wheel of a early 80"s Buick sitting off the ground on blocks.. I asked a lot of questions but did not have the guts to go down under the earth with him to look at his handy work.. Keep safe my friend and I will continue to support my brothers and sisters that mine coal u people deserve my hard earned money not the foreign oil billionaire s

Breakerboy
Member
Posts: 91
Joined: Sat. Feb. 15, 2014 2:11 pm
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman DVC 500
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Other Heating: Keystoker Oil Boiler Cast iron Standing Radiators

Post Tue. Mar. 04, 2014 5:15 am

Lightning wrote:Wow fascinating story! Sounds like a tough way to make a living.. Thanks for sharing. :)
Welcome

grimmy
Member
Posts: 34
Joined: Sun. Mar. 02, 2014 7:50 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Dovre
Coal Size/Type: nut

Post Tue. Mar. 04, 2014 8:12 pm

When we were bootlegging, we were working a slope that was non active. It was right around 1995. We were heisting from June till September. We worked nights, robbing out heading coal, feeding the slope buggy by wheelbarrow. One night our intercom stopped working, and we got the topside ring. To our surprise, inspectors were on top waiting for us. They were not pleased. Bootlegging. Thank you for all of your support!! Yesterday at one of or local mines we had 2 men injured from a scabby top. Roof collapse, while trying to support it. They were doing everything they should have, and within regulation. Accidents just happen, that why they are called accidents. MSHA won't see it that way. Thank you for supporting us and our families by still using an old fuel. Thanks again! In every ton of anthracite coal, is a drop of miners blood.

User avatar
freetown fred
Member
Posts: 21426
Joined: Thu. Dec. 31, 2009 12:33 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut
Location: Freetown,NY 13803

Post Tue. Mar. 04, 2014 8:18 pm

Thanx for the post grimmy:)
"A people that values it's privileges above it's principals, soon loses both"--Dwight D Eisenhower

User avatar
LoschStoker
Member
Posts: 163
Joined: Mon. Feb. 04, 2008 12:47 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: (New) Warm Morning 400A
Other Heating: Yukon Polar-Eagle II Multi Furnace
Stove/Furnace Make: Losch 350 130k BTU's
Stove/Furnace Model: DS Stoves 1500WH Short Lid
Location: Greencastle, PA.

Post Thu. Mar. 27, 2014 9:40 pm

Dad talked about bootleg holes, coal mines had their own police (I don't remember what they called them) and if they found a bootleg hole on their property they would blow it up and along with the equipment.
Dad and another guy had a bootleg hole, I think between Shamokin and Trevorton, that was at least 60 years+ ago.
They found a outcrop of coal up in the woods went down the hill a ways and sunk a shaft.
I remember a truck with the body off used to hoist the coal up in two stacked 55gal barrels. When it got up to the top it would dump buy its self into what looked like a big chute. That guy was called the hoisting engineer.
Since the coal vein was sloped they mine up hill then the coal would slide down to where the shaft was
The township or county owned the land and they were to pay them so much a ton.


Post Reply

Return to “Coal News & General Coal Discussions”