Anthracite Mining Heritage Month

SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — January is Anthracite Mining Heritage Month.

A variety of programs will be featured throughout the month in several counties in NEPA to focus on the history and culture of the anthracite region of northeastern Pennsylvania.


Saturday in Lackawanna County, guided tours of the newly restored Brooks Mine in Scranton were offered to the public from 11:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Anyone and everyone is invited to attend the events, free of charge except for two programs taking place on January 18 and 22.

Tour guides say Saturday’s event was to provide education on a disaster that happened more than half a century ago.

“We are basically just showing and talking about the history of this mine as well as the events and the reasons why the Knox Mine disaster happened back on January 22. This is the perfect excuse to come out if it’s raining or whatever. It’s windy it’s bad weather outside,” explained Nick Bonk the tour guide at Lackawanna Coal Mine.

List of day-to-day events taking place:

Jan. 6 — Penn State University-Scranton; Anthracite Heritage Foundation, Public Program: Studies in Anthracite Region History.

• Speakers: Richard Healey, University of Portsmouth, UK; “The Scranton 1870 City Directory;” Philip Mosely, Penn State University-Scranton, “The Telling of the Anthracite;” Bryan Glahn, Independent Scholar, “Mining Disasters in Northeastern Pennsylvania;” Mitch Troutman, Independent Scholar, “Bootleg Coal Mining in the 1920s and 1930s.”

• Moderator: Chester Kulesa, retired administrator, Anthracite Heritage Museum.

• Venue: Penn State University-Scranton [tentative].

• Time: 5:30 – 7:30 pm; refreshments.

Jan. 7 — EPCAMR and Earth Conservancy, Public Program: Coal Breakers, Glen Alden Company Records, and EPCAMR’s New Website.

• Speakers: Eric Bella, Mining Engineer, “Studying Northeastern PA Coal Breakers;” Sue Hand, Artist, “Artistic Representations of Northeastern PA Coal Breakers;” Nicholas Zmijewski, Industrial Archives & Library, “Curating the Glen Alden Coal Company Records

• Moderator and Speaker: Robert Hughes, EPCMR, “EPCAMR’s Release of New Environmental Education Resources.”

• Venue: Earth Conservancy, 101 South Main St., Ashley.

• Time: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.; refreshments.

Jan. 11 — Anthracite Heritage Museum and Lackawanna Historical Society, Public Program: Five Regional Documentary Filmmakers — A Panel Discussion.

• Speakers: Robert Savakinus (“Scranton’s Championship Season”), Dave Brocca (“The Knox Mine Disaster”), David Heineman (“NEPADOC”), John Welsh and Alana Mauger, (“Beyond the Huber Breaker”).

• Moderator: Mary Ann Savakinus, LHS.

• Venue: Albright Memorial Library, 500 Vine St., Scranton.

• Time: 6 p.m.-8 p.m.; refreshments.

Jan. 12 — Nanticoke Historical Society, Public Program: A Documentary Film Screening of “Beyond the Huber Breaker” (2019).

• Presenters: John Welsh and Alana Mauger, documentary filmmakers.

• Moderator: Chester Zaremba, Vice President, NHS; Venue: Cultural Centre of St. Faustina, 38 West Church St., Nanticoke.

• Time: 6 p.m.-7:30 pm; refreshments.

Jan. 13 — Underground Miners, Public Program: Guided tours of the (newly restored) Brooks Mine in Scranton.

• Guides: Chris Murley, Banks Ries, Dan Shurtleff, Bill Best, Mark Izak, Gerry Babinski, Scott Kerkowski, Isaac Walker, Adam Zuroski, Greg Bock, Justin Ballard, Devin Purcell, Nick Bonk and Mike Borzell.

• Venue: Brooks Mine, Nay Aug Park, Scranton.

• Time: Tours start on the half-hour between 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

• Theme: In addition to highlighting the mine’s restoration, the tour will focus on how the Knox Mine Disaster of 1959 occurred.

Jan. 14 — Underground Miners, Public Program: Guided tours of the (newly restored) Brooks Mine in Scranton.

• Guides: Chris Murley, Banks Ries, Dan Shurtleff, Bill Best, Mark Izak, Gerry Babinski, Scott Kerkowski, Isaac Walker, Adam Zuroski, Greg Bock, Justin Ballard, Devin Purcell, Nick Bonk and Mike Borzell.

• Venue: Brooks Mine, Nay Aug Park, Scranton.

• Time: Tours start on the half-hour between 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

• Theme: In addition to highlighting the mine’s restoration, the tour will focus on how the Knox Mine Disaster of 1959 occurred.

Jan. 14 — Susquehanna Brewing Company, Public Program: An Afternoon of Anthracite Region Music.

• Musicians: Don Shappelle and the Pick-ups; Jim Waltich and Doug Smith; John Stankey, Frank Westowski, Mark Steinkirshner, and the Coal Miners.

• Master of Ceremonies: Don Shappelle.

• Time: 4 p.m.-6 p.m,

• Venue: SBC, 635 South Main St., Pittston; food and drink available.

Jan. 17 — Luzerne County Historical Society and the Eckley Miners Village Museum, Public Program.

• Speaker: Justin W. Emershaw, Mining Engineer, Atlantic Carbon Group, Inc.

• Topic: “Current Anthracite Mining Operations in Northeastern Pennsylvania.”

• Venue: Eckley Miners Village Museum Auditorium, 2 Eckley Main St., Weatherly.

• Time: 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m.; refreshments.

Jan. 18 — Penn-Anthracite Society of Mining Engineers, Public Program: “The History of Anthracite: Past, Present, and Future,” Speakers: to be announced; Venue: Mountain Valley Club House (1021 Brockton Mountain Drive, Barnesville, PA 18214); Time: 6:30 pm; Refreshments.

Jan. 19 — Anthracite Heritage Museum and Lackawanna Historical Society, Public Program: A Documentary Film Screening of “NEPADOC” (2023), a documentary on Northeastern Pennsylvania history.

• Presenter: David Heineman, Bloomsburg University.

• Venue: Snyder Room (Third Floor), Sheehy-Farmer Campus Center, King’s College, 133 North River St., Wilkes-Barre.

• Time: 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m.

Jan. 20 — Anthracite Heritage Museum, Public Program — The Annual Knox Mine Disaster Commemoration: After Knox — Legacies and Prospects.

• Speakers: Tom Supey, retired coal miner, “Flushing the Mines”; Robert Hughes, EPCAMR, “Mine Reclamation;” Elizabeth Hughes, Earth Conservancy, “Restoring the Land;” Bill Best, Underground Miners, “Mine Restoration;” William Conlogue, Marywood University, “Environmental Implications;” Bode Morin, AHM, “Anthracite Heritage;”

• Moderator: Robert Wolensky; Music: Don Shappelle and Don Sennett; Mining Artifacts Display: Mike and Linda Mostardi, Wayne, PA.

• Venue: AHM, 22 Bald Mountain Road, Scranton.

• Time: 2 p.m.-4 p.m.; refreshments.

Jan. 21 — Knox Mine Disaster Memorial Mass.

• Venue: St. John the Evangelist Church, 36 William St., Pittston.

• Time: 9 a.m.

Jan. 21 — Knox Disaster Commemoration.

• Venue: The Knox Disaster Monument, Baloga Funeral Home, 1201 Main St., Pittston.

• Time: 10:30 a.m.-11 am.

Jan. 21 — Annual Walk to the Knox Mine Disaster Break-in Site.

• Venue: Susquehanna River, Port Griffith (weather permitting).

• Meet: Baloga Funeral Home.

• Time: 11 a.m.

• Leaders: Bill Best and Bill Landmesser.

Jan 21 — Anthracite Heritage Museum and Lackawanna Historical Society, Public Program: A Documentary Film Screening of “Scranton’s Championship Season” (2022).

• Presenter: Robert Savakinus, documentary filmmaker.

• Venue: The Ritz Theatre, 222 Wyoming Ave, Scranton.

• Time: 2 p.m.-3:30 p.m.

Jan. 22 — Anthracite Heritage Museum and Lackawanna Historical Society, Public Program: A Documentary Film Screening of “The Knox Mine Disaster” (2019).

• Presenters: David and Al Brocca, documentary filmmakers.

• Venue: Snyder Room (Third Floor), Sheehy-Farmer Campus Center, King’s College, 133 North River St., Wilkes-Barre.

• Time: 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.; to purchase a ticket ($10), go to — www.knoxminedisaster.com.

Jan. 24 — Plymouth Historical Society, Public Program: The Powell Squibb Factory Explosion, Feb. 25, 1889, Plymouth.

• Speakers: Joe Slusser (“Narrative of the Disaster”) and Heather Ruseskas (“The Victims and the Families”).

• Moderator: Steve Kondrad, President, PHS.

• Venue: First Welsh Baptist Church, 168 West Shawnee Ave., Plymouth.

• Time: 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.

• Music: Don Shappelle; refreshments.

Jan. 25 — King’s College and the Anthracite Heritage Foundation, Public Program—The Annual Msgr. John J. Curran Lecture.

• Speaker: Breandan MacSuibhne, University of Galway, Ireland.

• Topic: “From The Potato Patch to the Mine Patch: The Irish of Northeastern Pennsylvania, c. 1820–1920.”

• Welcome: Fr. Thomas Looney, President, King’s College.

• Moderator: Thomas Mackaman, King’s College; Anthracite Book Award Presentation to Philip Mosley, Penn State University-Scranton.

• Venue: Burke Auditorium, McGowan Business School, 133 North River St., Wilkes-Barre.

• Time: 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m.; refreshments.

Jan. 25 — Anthracite Heritage Foundation, Book Award for 2024.

• Presenter: Robert P. Wolensky, King’s College.

• Recipient: Philip Mosley, Penn State University-Scranton, for The Telling of the Anthracite (2023).

• Venue: King’s College, Burke Auditorium.

• Time: Immediately preceding the Annual Curran Lecture.

Jan. 25 — Reading Anthracite Public Program.

• Speaker: Eric Bella, Mining Engineer.

• Topic: History of Philadelphia and Reading Coal & Iron Company and Reading Anthracite.

• Venue: The Reading Anthracite Building, 200 Mahantongo St., Pottsville.

• Parking: Use Mahantongo Parking Garage, 201 Mahantongo St., Pottsville, across the street from the building, entrance is on South 2nd Street).

• Time: 6:30 p.m.-7 p.m.; refreshments.

Jan. 26 — Lackawanna Historical Society, Public Program: Lackawanna Times Past.

• Hosts: Sarah Piccini, LHS, and Darlene Miller-Lanning, University of Scranton Hope Horn Gallery.

• Topic: The Centennial of the John Mitchell Monument in Scranton.

• Time: 2 p.m.-3 p.m.

• Venue: Zoom — https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88686396901?pwd=VVp6engyRERSbDhrOWFrSHllR0NrZz09; Meeting ID: 886 8639 6901

Passcode: 975417.

Jan. 27 — Lansford No. 9 Mine Tour and Museum, Public Program.

• Mine Tour Leader: Zach Petroski, President.

• Venue: No. 9 Mine Tour, 9 Dock St, Lansford.

• Time: 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

• Lecture and book signing: Mitch Troutman, Author of The Bootleg Coal Rebellion (2022).

• Venue: The No. 9 Museum.

• Time: 1:30 p.m.-3 p.m.; refreshments.

Jan. 28 — Anthracite Heritage Museum, Public Information Session: A Travel Adventure Tour — Industrial History of the United Kingdom (Scotland, England, and Wales), Sept. 17-27, 2024.

• Tour Leaders: Beth Landmesser, Bode Morin, and Bob Wolensky, who will provide a PowerPoint presentation on the itinerary, lodgings, cost, and other aspects of the trip.

• Time: 2:30 p.m.-4 p.m.

• Venue: AHM, 22 Bald Mountain Road, Scranton; refreshments.

Jan. 28 — National Museum of Industrial History, Public Program.

• Speaker: Andrea Krupp, artist and independent researcher.

• Topic: Seeing Coal: An Artist’s Perspective.

• Introduction: Andria Zaia, NMIH.

• Venue: NMIH, 602 E. 2nd St., Bethlehem.

• Time: 2 p.m.-3 p.m.; light refreshments. Entry is included with a paid Museum admission. (NOTE: Andrea Krupp’s art exhibit will be on display at the NMIH during all of January)

Jan. 29 — Greater Pittston Historical Society, Public Program.

• Topic: Organized Crime in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

• Speakers: Dave Janoski, Citizens’ Voice, “Historical Overview of Organized Crime in the Local Area;” Ken Wolensky, Rutgers University; “Organized Crime in the Ladies’ Garment Industry;” Robert Wolensky, King’s College, “Organized Crime in Anthracite Mining.”

• Moderator: Julio Caprari, GPHS.

• Venue: St. Joseph Morello Hall, 237 William St., Pittston.

• Time: 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m.; refreshments.

Jan. 31 — Pennsylvania Anthracite Society of Mining Engineers, Public Program.

• Speaker: David Williams, PA-SME.

• Topic: The Sheppton Mine Disaster of 1963.

• Venue: Hazle Township Municipal Building, 101 West 27th St., Hazle Township.

• Time: 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m.; refreshments



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