PRESERVING HISTORY.

In my last Post about the Lytle Colliery, I had mentioned that I was having trouble finding this place.  Well, after 2 day’s of snooping around and asking questions and talking with other local people of the area, I finially found this elusive place off one of the main traveled roads in Minersville.  I found that I just did not go far enough up the road.  It was located on a 2 lane coal dirt covered road.  By the looks of it, you could hardly know that there was once a mighty, coal producing Colliery in the area, until you got closer to the property that it once stood on.

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After turning on to this 2 lane coal dirt covered road and driving in coal dirt that I was not sure if my car would make it, I came across this, as I was told it would be.  There were no “Private Property or Keep Out” signs, so I continued on.  Behind my car, the dirt road goes back about a half mile to the main road thru Primrose.  It was bumpy, full of holes, coal dirt, and soft ground that I was afraid of getting stuck in with the car that is not built for roads such as this.

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This is a “Tool Shed” that has been on this spot since 1902.  I’m surprised it was still standing.

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The only piece of Coal moving machinery left on the property.  Must have sat here for many years.  Don’t think it works anymore!

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This is the only large cement wall that is left over from the Colliery.

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This is looking down the “road” that leads to really nothing but piles of Coal Clum that is a left over from the Colliery.  That Black dirt is very soft.  If you choose to drive thru or walk in it, there is a real good chance you’ll sink in a bit far.  Not a good idea, unless you walk over to the left.

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Looking down from where the Colliery used to stand.

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More Coal waste, with the bleak landscape.

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Even though there is nothing here any longer, this is what remains of the Lytle/Primrose Coal Colliery that was in operation from 1890-1950 employing more than 300 miners and working all 3 shifts to supply the Nation with Coal.  The name Primrose comes from the Primrose Coal Vein that runs right under this land.  The other main part of the Colliery is on the top left where you see the tall attena.

Unfortantlly, there is a very sad note that goes along with this Image.  In the late afternoon of April 20, 1892, a near-by Coal Shaft that had filled with water over the years, broke thru another Vein and flooded a active Mine Shaft just when the shift change was happening, drowning 10 miners.  There is no Memorial around that I know of to give Tribute to these Miners who lost their Life.  Over the many years, when Coal was King, hundreds of Coal Miners lost their lives in these man made hell holes in the ground.

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Looks like a black Moon-scape to me.  I did not walk down thru all this.  This is what you see allot of around a old abandonded Coal Breaker or Colliery.  The buildings in the far foreground are part of Primrose.

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The left over Coal dirt that seems never to end makes the Country side so empty and not life giving to any wildlife that may be in the area.  Sadly, I don’t think their is any.

Thank You.

LYTLE COLLIERY

As most of you already know, I love the Historical area of the Coal Region where so much History is still around, and some of it is gone but always remembered by those who know.

Just a few day’s ago, I had grabbed my camera gear, and headed back up to my favorite region looking for a specific area to try and find.  A long time friend of my Wife, who she has know since High School and has lived in Minersville all of her life, told her that there used to be a Colliery/Breaker up in a area called Primrose.  I knew about Primrose from before but just really never knew where it was located.

So, I packed up my camera gear and headed up to the region that she was talking about.  I sorta knew about where Primrose was, but not exactly sure.  Found out by calling my Wife’s good friend and asking her just where this place is.  Primrose is located just on the outskirts of Minersville on RT209 North.  Now, the reason I missed it was because you have to take a small road off the main one.  I never knew that.

I found Primrose. The little Town of Primrose was named after the Primrose Coal Vein that ran thru the area.  Upon arriving there I saw such a nice, quaint little Town nestled in a small valley.  It only had 10 or 12 very well kept white Homes that were all bunched together.  It was what you could call a “Coal Patch”.  I drove thru it hoping to catch someone outside so I could ask questions, but no one was around.  Drove down the dirt road as far as I could, but found nothing on where the Colliery used to be.  Turned around and came back the way I came in.  Frustrated that I did not find what I was looking for I left the area.  What I should have done is stopped and took a Image of this little “Patch” just to show you what it is.  So, anyway  . .  .  .

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After coming home with nothing to show, I searched the Internet for what may be there about the Primrose Colliery/Breaker.  This is what I could find.

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I know that this Colliery/Breaker is in the area that I looked for, but just can’t seem to find it.  I will be going back up there again in the near future and this time I’ll find it by asking around from those who may remember.

Thank You & Happy Holidays.

COAL HOLE

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Photographed in the outskirts of Coaldale, PA is what remains of a Coal Hole that was used years ago to remove Coal that was fairly close to the ground surface.

Known also as a “Strippie Mine” Coal was dug out and shipped to a near-by Colliery for further process where shale and stone were removed from the Coal.  The Shale & Stone that was not wanted was then dumped near-by creating what is called a “Clum Pile.”  Thru out the Coal Region area there are many Clum Piles that still exist from all the different mines that were in the region.

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This is not my Image, but it shows just what a “Clum Pile” looks like.  Today, they are more used for 4 wheeling and play area’s.  Just outside of Tamaqua there are many of these.

Most of these “Holes” were quite deep.  Some of them were known to be over 100 ft. deep or more.  Miners back then sometimes left the machinery at the bottom of the Pit and then moved on to another dig.  Over the many passing years, the Strippie filled with Spring and rain water creating just a deep water filled hole in the ground.  The water in them is very cold.  During Winter months they freeze over and create a skating area, but don’t fall in!

My Wife was born & raised in the Coal area.  She can still remember going swimming in one of these during her HS years, because of no place else to go, and it was free.  No charge to swim here, but it can take your Life if not careful.  Coal machinery left over in these can be just hidden below the surface of the water!  Jump or dive in may have you encounter a un-wanted object that you don’t know is there.  There have been reports of this kind of death.

A good portion of these Holes are now gone.  Filled in with ground from other places, it then looks like nothing was ever there.  Only those who remember know.

Thank You.

LEARNING

As most of you know by now, I just love the History around my area and going to nearby Historic spots.  Yesterday, I went up to one of my favorite area’s that I used to play in while a young boy.  However, this time I went there for a Historic Walk at the Kerney to learn more about what used to be there long ago.  I found out that there is so much more to this place than what I knew.

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Here, Glenn, is telling how the old Canal Locks would work and why they did what was normal for that day and age.  Back in the day, Canal Boats were charged a fee to go thru the Lock.  The price depended on how much tonage they were hauling.  Coal, Wood, Goods, etc. were all charged.  Didn’t matter who you were.  If you look close, behind Glenn, you still can see what remains of a Lock.

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Here, our teacher, is telling of what was once here that you don’t see anymore.  Believe it or not, this area where we are standing used to be under water.  The water actually went up as high as the blue train cars to the left of the Image.  Changes in the River, over the passing years, changed all that.  When this area was dry, and the water recedid, there were some cabins built here.  If you look close while walking, there still can be seen stone foundations from those cabins of long ago.

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Our group is being told about the Covered Bridge that was once here, back in 1892.  The Stone supports still remain.

Even though the ground was a bit wet and sloppy at places from all the rain we had, I liked this Tour that was given.  I learned about things that I never knew where there and how much the area changed.  Thanks for coming along.

Thank you.

TRAILS OF HISTORY.

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This is the famous Independence Hall located in Historic Philadelphia, PA.

Inside this Historic structure is where the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4th, 1776.

This structure is one of the most favored places to visit.  Tickets must be purchased to see the area, where the Declaration was signed, that has been restored back to it’s orginial look.  When I shot this Image it was early morning before it was open.  Not many people were here.  This was a good time to capture a Image.  By the time I was ready to leave, the area was filled with hundreds of people.  The Park Rangers are kept busy all the time.

Security around here is very tight.  Just in front of me, and out of the Image, was a fence that had a sign on it that said “No admittence without a ticket”!  You should not go beyond it, or you’ll be stopped.  No firearms.  Bags can and will be checked before entering the area.  Police are everywhere.  Security camera’s are watching every move!

One of the things I like to do, is just sit and watch people do what they do.  Sit and watch the world go by.  People are here from all over.  Different cultures and nationally come here to see this.  I have observed that most visitors obey the signs that tell what you can do and what you should not.  However, there are some who just don’t care and do what they want.  Not good, in my opinion.  Rules here are done for a reason.  People throw trash on the ground, and don’t take time to throw it into bins placed around the area.  I hate seeing that.  If caught doing so, you might be fined.

Thank you.

LAMP LIGHTER

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Dessed in the cloths of that day & era, this guide was explaining how the Lamps worked back in the 1700’s.  In that time there was no electric.  Everything was done by candle light.  Each pole had 1 candle in it to light the way.  Each candle had to be lit every evening by someone that carried a Master candle.  Thus came the name of Lamp Lighter.

Thank you.

RETURN TO HISTORY.

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For the 1st time in a few days, we had some nice sunny weather, so I grabbed my camera gear and headed down to a favorite place in the city of Philadelphia that I like to go to.  Independence Park, the Birthplace of our Nation, has so very much to offer and see.  You can spend a whole day here going in and out of all the Historic buildings that have been preserved by the National Park Service.

This is Congress Hall.  Located in Independence Park on 6th & Market St. it served as the Seat of the US Congress from December 6th, 1790 to May 14th, 1800.  It ratified the Bill of Rights and the US Constitution in 1793.  It also oversaw the Inaugurations of our 1st President, George Washington and our 2nd President, John Adams.

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Inside Congress Hall on the 2nd Floor is where most of our Nation’s business was taken care of.  Brought back to its original look by the National Park Service, this is what it looked like in its day.  Of course, there were no electric lights at the time.  Everything was done by candle light & day light.  The carpet is not an original.  It is a reproduction of what it was.

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During my “walk about” in the Park, I came across this fella dressed in the ware of Colonial Days, playing a Mountain Dulcimer, that I have heard before.  The Mountain Dulcimer has a very soothing, interesting sound to it.  Almost sounding like a Harp, but really isn’t.  This man could play it very well.  He made it look so easy to do.  The music that came out of this instrument was so pleasant to listen to.  I watched & listened to him play for about 15 min.  Then asked him if I could take his Image.  I thanked him and moved on.

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This is just a part of Independence Park.  Here you’re looking down the open area with the Visitor Center on the right and Independence Hall in the center.  The Visitor Center is where the original Liberty Bell is located, but I didn’t go in there.  Just too many people!

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Located right next to Independence Hall is the Congress Library that is now a gift store.

I enjoyed my 2nd visit here.  There is much to see.  Lot’s of walking.  In fact, I walked around so much that my legs started getting sore & stiff.  I then returned to my car for the return drive home.

Thank you.