Updated: Feb 3, 2019
The Coal Region of northeastern Pennsylvania is what brought many immigrants to the region. The North and South Anthracite Coal Fields contain the country's largest known deposits of anthracite coal. Coal in Pennsylvania was first discovered in 1762 and towns sprang up around the mines. The first mine was established near Pittston, Pennsylvania, in 1775. Hundreds of mines remain today and PSU provides an interactive map for locating them. Click here to see.
The Pennsylvania Anthracite Heritage Museum contains a wealth of history on the industry and the people who participated in it. Features include Iron Furnaces and Eckley Miner's Village. The Museum is located in Scranton.
Tours of the old Lackawanna Coal Mine in Scranton still run today. Tours run from April 1st to November 30th and the cost is currently $10 for adults and $7.50 for children under 12. Call (800) 238-7245 for information. Tickets can be purchased at McDade Park in Scranton. The tour is not part of the museum.
For more information on coal miner records, see my blog from June 8, 2015 here. Browse my site for more genealogy tips and resources.
My interest in the Pennsylvania coal mines began when I learned that my 2nd great-grandfather, Charles Gilbert Decker, was born in Carbondale abt. 1862, at a time when there was nothing but coal in Carbondale. He was said to have lived in "Edwardsdale" (Edwardsville) in the late 1890s, another coal mining town, when he married Lydia (Mayo) Ames of Scranton.
"Edwardsville. Named after Daniel Edwards, a superintendent with the Kingston Coal Company. Until 1884 the town was known as Edwardsdale." according to this source.
When Charles died in 1909, he was employed at the "Engine Works" in Walden. I suspect his father was a coal miner, a career path Charles diverted from. In a future blog entry, I will share my research. Check the Decker page for more information. Your comments and suggestions are welcome below!