Mining History Month Schedule of Events – January 2018

A regional observance of Anthracite Mining Heritage Month will take place during January 2018, at programs in Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, Pittston, Port Griffith, Plymouth, Nanticoke, Wyoming, and Ashley.  The annual event focuses on the history and culture of the anthracite region in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

This year’s events will commemorate the 250 th anniversary of the Connecticut Yankees’ return to the Wyoming Valley. Obadiah Gore Jr., a blacksmith who knew about hard coal, was among them. His early use of anthracite marked the beginning of The Coal Region.

The events are sponsored by the Anthracite Heritage Museum, the Anthracite Heritage Foundation, King’s College, Luzerne County Community College, The University of Scranton, Wilkes University, Lackawanna Historical Society, Luzerne County Historical Society, the Boy Scouts of America-Northeastern PA Council, the Greater Pittston Historical Society, the Plymouth Historical Society, the Nanticoke Historical Society, the Huber Breaker Preservation Society, and the Knox Mine Disaster Memorial Committee.

The public is cordially invited to attend all events (except the first) free of charge.




January 6th – 9am
Boy Scouts of America-Northeastern, PA Council: “Mining in Society,” Merit Badge Day, Open to Boy Scouts of the Northeastern PA Council, (Venue: Fourth Floor, Mulligan Science Building, King’s College, 133 River St., Wilkes-Barre)

January 7th – 2pm
Lackawanna Historical Society-Public Program: Presenter: Charles Kumpas, “A Day in the Life of an Anthracite Miner: The Remarkable Coalmining Artwork of Remo Trieste Russo,” Moderator: Mary Ann Savakinas (Venue: LHS, Catlin House, 232 Monroe Ave., Scranton), refreshments

January 11th – 6:30pm
Luzerne County Historical Society-Public Program: Performer: Robert Hughes, “An Interview with the Mineworkers’ Union Leader, Johnny Mitchell—A One-Act Play,” (Venue: Wyoming Presbyterian Church Institute, 40 Institute St., Wyoming), refreshments

January 16th – 7pm
Huber Breaker Preservation Society-Public Program: Presenter: Mike Mostardi, Wayne, PA, “A Demonstration Anthracite Mining Equipment and Objects,” Moderator: Bill Best, (Venue: Ashley Fire Hall, Fireman’s Park, 160 Ashley St., Ashley), members meeting at 6:30 pm, refreshments

January 17th – 7pm
Plymouth Historical Society-Public Program: Presenters, Georgetta Potoski and Steve Kondrad: “Plymouth’s Coal Mining Pioneers: Abijah & John Smith, Freeman Thomas, and Other Stories,” (Venue: Plymouth Borough Municipal Building, 162 W. Shawnee Ave., Plymouth), refreshment

January 18th – 7pm
King’s College-Public Program, Annual Msgr. John J. Curran Lecture: Presenter: Mark Balik, Senior Editor, New York Times, Speaking on his book, “Sons of the Molly Maguires: The Irish Roots of America’s First Labor War,” (2014), (Venue: Burke Auditorium, McGowan School of Business, King’s College, 133 N. River St., Wilkes-Barre), refreshments at 6:30 pm

January 19th – 7pm
University of Scranton-Public Program: Presenters: Sarah Piccini (1871, Scranton), Lucia Dailey (1877, Scranton), Michael Knies (1912, Luzerne & Lackawanna Counties), and Robert Wolensky (1928, Pittston & Old Forge), “A Discussion of Four Historic Anthracite Labor Strikes,” (Venue: 509 DeNaples Student Center, University of Scranton, 900 Mulberry St., Scranton)

January 20th – 2pm
Anthracite Heritage Museum-Annual Public Program on The Knox Mine Disaster: Presenters: Erica Funke and David Brocca, “Two Knox Disaster Documentaries, 1984 and 2018: Screenings & Commentaries,” plus folk music by Jay Smar, (Venue: The Museum, 22 Bald Mt. Rd., Scranton), refreshments

January 21st – 10am
Annual Knox Mine Disaster Memorial Mass: St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, Pittston (Venue: St. John’s, 35 Williams St., Pittston)

January 21st – 11:30am
Annual Commemoration of the Knox Disaster: (Venue: at the PHMC Historical Marker, Main St., Port Griffith, Baloga Funeral Home), coffee

January 21st – Noon
Annual Walk to Knox Mine Disaster Site: (Venue: Gather at Baloga Funeral Home, Port Griffith, following the Commemoration; weather permitting)

January 22nd – 7pm
Nanticoke Historical Society-Public Program: Presenters: Robert Wolensky and Michael Chimola, “Who Killed Rebel Miners’ Union President, Tom Maloney – The Wyoming Valley Good Friday Bombings of April 6, 1936,” (Venue: Nanticoke Cultural Center, 38 W. Church St., Nanticoke), refreshments

January 25th – 7pm
Greater Pittston Historical Society-Public Program: Presenters: Carol Gargon (Lithuanians), Jim McFarland (Irish), Christine Patterson (Africans), Fiona Powell (Welsh), and Stephanie Longo (Italians), “Ethnicity in the Anthracite Region: An Appreciation of Five Local Heritage Groups,” Moderator, Ron Faraday, GPHS, (Venue: St. John’s the Evangelist Church basement, 35 Williams St., Pittston), refreshment

January 26th – 6:30pm
Luzerne County Community College-Public Program: Presenters: William Kashatus, Jack Smiles, Paul Browne, and Sean Carroll, “Professional Baseball and the Anthracite Region: Four Authors Discuss Players, Teams, Games, and Stories,” (Venue: Educational Conference Center, lower campus, Room 132, LCCC, Nanticoke), refreshments