2005 Mining History Association Field Trip

 

Anthracite Region Tour

Eckley Miners' Village, Eckley, PA

June 20, 2005

Tour Hosts: Staff of the Eckley Miners' Village

The Eckley Miners’ Village is located about 9 miles east of Hazleton, PA.  It was built in 1854 by Sharpe, Leisinring, and Company (later the Sharpe, Weiss, and Company) which opened the Council Ridge Colliery.  The coal land was leased from the Tench Coxe Estate in Philadelphia.  The village was originally named Fillmore, after President Millard Fillmore, but was renamed Eckley in 1857, after the grandson of Tench Coxe.  When the lease expired in 1875, the Coxe family operated or leased the colliery.  The population of Eckley peaked at about 1,000 around 1870 and then declined as strip mining replaced underground mining.  The residents reflected the waves of immigrants who came to work in the mines, Welsh, English, German, and Irish in the earlier years, and Eastern Europeans in later years.

In 1969, the Huss Coal Company sold the town to the Anthracite Historical Site Museum, Inc.  In 1971, it was deeded to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  Today, it is administered by The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.  Eckley is open to the public year-round. Through preservation and restoration efforts, the Village seeks to portray the way-of-life of the anthracite coal miners and their families in the 19th Century.

 

PHOTO GALLERY 3

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The Main Street of Eckley is typical of the coal company patch towns of the mid-to-late 1800’s.

Each half of a duplex miner’s house, ca. 1854, could accommodate as many as 15 people.

The restored Company Doctor’s Office, ca. 1874.

The restored Mine Owner’s Home was built by Richard Sharpe, ca. 1861.

Interior of the restored Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception, ca. 1861.  It was deconsecrated in 1950.

The coal breaker is not original.  It was built in 1970 as a set for the movie “The Molly Maguires.”  It was constructed on the site of earlier break.

 

These anthracite coal mine cars were used as movie props.

An operating coal strip mine not far from Eckley.


Photo Credits: Mike Kaas

References

 

Eckley Miners Village, (Accessed 2 January 2012).

 

Eckley Miners Village (PA Historical and Museum Commission), (Accessed 2 January 2012).

 

 

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