Written in the National Historic Places of Pennsylvania is the once mining town of Eckly.
At one time, back in the 1800’s when Coal was King, many miners and their families lived here working in the cold, dark, man made hell of the Anthracite Mines. Working out a merger existence to feed their families and keep food on their table.
The Miners that worked and lived here did not have all that much. A roof over their heads that included this typical kitchen of it’s day. The Coal Stove was the main heat of the home and would be moved outside during the Summer to keep the home as cool as possible.
Coal was hauled up from the Mine in these Coal cars. The old Coal Breaker is one of 3 that were built on this site.
The man who owned the Mine lived in this house with his Family and Servants. He had it much better than the Miners who made him the money.
This small mining town had a Catholic Church, pictured above, a Store which most miners were in debt to, a Social Hall where everyone could gather on different nights or day’s of the week, gardens where most of the food was grown. This is the original Church from then.
Looking inside the original Church at the Alter.
Not my photo. Taken from the Eckly site showing how it looked to work in a Mine.
Not only did the men work in the Mines, but young boy’s did too. Called “Breaker Boy’s” it was their job to separate the Coal from the shale, plus other duties such as pulling the Mules and Horse’s in and out of the Mine. It was not uncommon for boy’s at the age of 7 yrs. to work long hours right along with their Fathers. There were no Labor Laws back then. Sometimes they worked 12 – 14 hrs. a day and hardly saw the light of day.
Here at the Eckly Village there is also a Museum that has many artifacts of the tools that were used, also the clothing, dishware, stoves, candles, and much more. It’s interesting to walk around and see what once was so long ago. Be thankful for what you have today. They didn’t have much. Only what they could provide.