As he drove up East Main Street, Film director Irving Pichel winced at his first glimpse of Glen Lyon. His producer sent him there, over his objections, to shoot scenes for the 1948 movie The Miracle of the Bells. Pichel wanted to use a sound stage rather than shoot the scenes on location. Using a sound stage would be far cheaper and he could make the scenery more realistic to moviegoers’ expectations, he argued. But the story’s author and the screenwriters already had convinced the producer that scenes shot in Glen Lyon, an old 19th century mining town, would the make movie’s Coal Town real to audiences. And, after all, they argued, Glen Lyon was the hometown of the story’s dead heroine.
As he drove through Glen Lyon, Pichel confirmed his belief that movie audiences would not accept it as the film’s Coal Town. Americans pictured mining towns as dilapidated unpainted shacks lining muddy streets, all surrounded by black culm banks. Pichel saw the colliery with it’s culm banks, but the town was too neat: most houses were of recent construction and well kept, the streets were paved, the business district disproportionately big and busy and people on the streets were too well dressed. Fuming because the producer had not accepted his sound stage argument, he started looking for a pay phone to tell him I-told-you-so.
Seeing the familiar white bell on a blue background hanging outside Sokolnicki’s Drug Store on West Main Street, he parked, walked in and placed the call. Heads turned when he shouted as if he were trying to make his voice reach Los Angeles without the aid of the telephone. Conscious he was the object of a scene, Pichel bowed his head, cupped his hands around the mouthpiece and quietly told the producer Glen Lyon simply wouldn’t do. He mutely but sternly insisted on taking the crew back to LA or to begin looking for a local town fitting the image audiences would expect to see. The producer, wanting to save the cost of moving the film crew and to appease the now miffed screenwriters and author, argued for sticking with Glen Lyon. Following some financial arm-twisting, Pichel reluctantly agreed but got his way by avoiding the town proper as much as possible, instead shooting scenes in the grimiest parts of the colliery he could find. Not surprisingly, most of the Glen Lyon scenes fell on the cutting room floor before the movie was released.
While Glen Lyon may not have met audiences’ expectations for the movie’s Coal Town, it was indeed a mining town. The Borough of Glen Lyon grew out of a few buildings near a small mining operation started in 1869 to a bustling town and major producer of refined hard coal. Strategically located in Luzerne County near the southern end of Pennsylvania’s once great Wyoming-Lackawana Anthracite Field, Glen Lyon’s coal helped fuel homes and industry throughout the eastern United States for most of its history.
The history of Glen Lyon is a story about coal and profit and the powerful and powerless, a story largely written by the town’s founder: the Susquehanna Coal Company. From the first shovel of coal dug by Welsh miners in 1869, the company exercised a dominion over jobs, the workplace, land use, taxes and ultimately the local economy that gave it an enduring power over Glen Lyon and its people, a power not much unlike that held by feudal landlords in eighteenth century Europe. Although the Susquehanna Coal Company no longer exits, its specter still haunts Glen Lyon’s economy and environment.
English, Scottish and Welsh farmers opened this narrow, wooded Newport Township valley to settlement in the latter 1700s. The first pioneers immediately saw the promise of bountiful crops in the rich black topsoil on the valley floor. Plentiful building materials surrounded them in the lush stands of birch, hemlock, hickory and mighty oak trees covering the valley floor and hillsides. Abundant water flowed around them, welling up from the many springs.
On the valley’s north, Lee’s Mountain soared like a wall, a giant barrier against the winter wind. (Locals would later dub it, Retreat Mountain, identifying the lofty ridge with the name of the County Poor House located on the opposite side.) Standing on a rocky outcrop high on Lee’s Mountain, the pioneers gazed on a panorama of undulating tree-covered hills unfolding five miles south to the foot of Little Wilkes-Barre Mountain. The summit of Penobscot Mountain’s dark silhouette visible behind Little Wilkes-Barre Mountain marked Newport Township’s southern boundary. On the valley floor below the rocky outcrop, the pioneers saw the headwaters of Newport Creek forming from numerous springs. The sparkling clear creek flowed fast out of the valley into the Susquehanna River near Honey Pot. As they gazed about the valley contemplating the lay of the land, the pioneers were reminded of the hills and glens they left behind in England, Scotland and Wales.
Well pleased with their find, the farmer-pioneers cleared extensive stands of trees and laid out large farm tracts on the valley floor and sunlit hillsides. Other settlers soon followed the pioneer’s trail along side Newport Creek and cleared out new farms from the thick woodlands along the way. Later arrivals pushed beyond the valley to the higher and flatter ground north and west of present day St. Adalbert’s Cemetery. By 1830 farms stretched from the mouth of Newport Creek in Nanticoke west to the bluffs overlooking the Susquehanna River near Mocanaqua.
Grain became the principal crop, which was hauled to gristmills near Nanticoke for processing and distribution to Wyoming Valley markets. Apple, pear and cherry orchards were added later. On the orchard and field verges, the farmers put in grapevines and chestnut, hickory nut and butternut trees. (Some of the original nut trees and grapevines could be found growing in the wild near town as late as the 1950s.) By 1850 the valley and surrounding area had become a substantial contributor to the Wyoming Valley grain, fruit and vegetable markets.
When visiting area markets, the farmers referred to this dell at the foot of Lee’s mountain as Lyon’s valley, distinguishing the place with the name of the most notable landholder. Preeminent in Wyoming Valley’s early history as settlers, farmers and businesspersons, the Lyon family’s renown made the place name recognizable to most people outside the valley and it fell into common use. Usage eventually formalized the place name to Gleann Lyon. Gleann Lyon was derived from a combination of the Scottish Gaelic, gleann, meaning valley, and the name of the landholder, Lyon. Gleann Lyon literally means Valley of Lyon or Lyon’s Valley. In the course of time, the Scottish “glean” became modified into the English “glen”.
Colonel Washington Lee, an early entrepreneur in the area, held large tracts of land around Nanticoke, including holdings in Newport Township. Having already established successful anthracite coal mining operations on his lands near Nanticoke, Lee commissioned a geologic survey on a promising tract he owned in Glen Lyon. Although the survey identified coal deposits, Lee decided against a mining venture. The limited market, uncertainty about the size of the deposits and the long haul distance to his Susquehanna River barge landing near Nanticoke convinced him it would be an economically risky venture.
Jesse Fell’s 1808 discovery of the grate and draft system in Wilkes-Barre, however, changed the economics of anthracite mining and consequently the profit potential of Lee’s Glen Lyon holding. Fell’s chance discovery of the grate and draft system turned anthracite coal into a clean burning, efficient fuel overnight. As the use of stoves and furnaces with improved technology spread, the demand for anthracite coal increased and by 1850 it had become the fuel of choice in millions of eastern factories and homes.
Wealthy businessmen in Wilkes-Barre were first to exploit the profitable anthracite market. They organized independent coal companies and established local mining operations as far south as Hazelton in the Lehigh Coal Field. The country’s major railroad companies soon swallowed up the independents. Already in control of the rail and barge canal system over which coal moved to market, the major railroads launched an aggressive plan to gain control over the entire northeast anthracite industry--from mine to furnace.
While railroad officials gobbled up the independent coal companies, their land agents descended on the farmers in the coalfields offering sums of money most couldn’t resist. By the 1860s the major railroads had succeeded in making massive land grabs throughout the Wyoming Coal Field, including Newport Township. With enormous wealth and a monopoly of the only transportation system capable of efficiently mass-moving the coal to market, the railroads fast emerged the uncontested economic power in the anthracite coal industry.
In 1870 seven major railroad companies had emerged as the controlling interests in all mining operations in Newport Township: the Delaware and Hudson, Delaware Lackawana and Western, Illinois and Western, Lackawana and Bloomsburg, Lehigh Valley, New Jersey Central and the Pennsylvania. The New Jersey Central was first to extend its system to Newport Township when it laid a track to the D. L. & W. Mine (later Glen Alden) in Wanamie in 1862. (The track was extended further west in 1885 to a new mine that was opened north of the hamlet of Lee.)
The Pennsylvania Railroad
In April 1867 the Pittston Railroad and Coal Company, an independent, acquired Colonel Washington Lee’s mining interests, including his interests in the Glen Lyon area. In February of 1869, the Pennsylvania Railroad acquired the Pittston Railroad and Coal Company, changed its name to the Susquehanna Coal Company, and set-up mining operations in the area that was to become the Borough of Glen Lyon. By this time the Pennsylvania Railroad had acquired, by lease or outright purchase, most of the surrounding farmlands in the valley, including the Lyon family holdings and two farm settlements: Morgantown and Williamstown. When the land grab played out in 1869, the Pennsylvania Railroad controlled over eight to twelve square miles in and around the valley. In same year, the Susquehanna Coal Company moved in equipment, men and supplies from its Enterprise Colliery in Shamokin, Pennsylvania and setup a small mining operation at the Morgantown farm settlement.
Construction gangs erected a miners’ hotel, company store, a post office and a freight and passenger depot near the workings. (Miners called the cluster of buildings near the workings Morgan’s Town--named not for the farm settlement but for the Welsh mine superintendent (Morgan), who had extraordinary power over everything connected with the workings.) The freight and passenger depot sat vacant at first, anticipating completion of a branch track under construction from the Pennsylvania mainline in Nanticoke. When the last rail was put in place about 1876, Pennsylvania Railroad officials ceremoniously drove the last spike and hung a signboard on the depot naming it GLEN LYON STATION.
By the time the track finally reached the workings, the Welsh miners who had been sent from the Enterprise Colliery were already producing coal from the first tunnel, named Mine No 5. Before track completion, the unprocessed coal from Mine No. 5 was hauled to a loading dock on the New Jersey Central track east of the workings (near Wanamie). From there, it was transported to Susquehanna’s Nanticoke colliery for processing.
Mine No. 5, a tunnel bored under Retreat Mountain, was about one thousand feet east of present day Market Street. From the very first shovel full dug by the Welsh miners, the tunnel began producing large quantities of high-grade anthracite. The size and quality of the deposits in the valley were exactly as engineers had predicted in earlier geologic surveys. Susquehanna, seeing great potential for a profitable long-term mining operation, immediately began work on constructing Colliery No. 6.
Company housing (company patch) was first constructed to accommodate the families of new workers. The patch was located on the present site of West Enterprise Street. Susquehanna named the patch Morgantown in honor of Ebenezer Morgan. (Ebenezer Morgan was one of the valley’s first settlers, the founder of the Morgantown settlement and its most influential farmer at the time he sold his land to the Pittston Railroad and Coal Company.)
Morgantown, a loose assemblage of homesteads ringed by fields, covered much of the western half of Glen Lyon and was connected by a dirt wagon track roughly following the line of Newport Creek eastward to Williamstown. Williamstown, a similar assemblage of homesteads, spread over much of the eastern half of Glen Lyon. From Williamstown, the dirt track meandered east along Newport Creek connecting to other farm settlements along the way before reaching Nanticoke.
The Susquehanna Coal Company owned everything in Morgantown: houses, store, the school on Enterprise Street and the small Welsh Congregational Church. The company’s police force, the Coal and Iron Police, enforced patch rules. From these beginnings sprung the Village of Morgantown. It became the official name used by the US Post Office Department.
As the scale of mining operations grew into a colliery during the next decade and a half, the population quickly outgrew the village patch as new workers continued to arrive to fill the expanding job base. By 1880 the demand for housing and public services began to severely test the company’s willingness to cope with it. So the company turned to township officials, convincing them that the orderly growth of housing and public services was a municipal, not a company, responsibility. Persuaded that the township coffers would overflow with new tax dollars, the Board of Commissioners declared a prescribed area around the Village of Morgantown a borough of Newport Township in 1885 and named it Glen Lyon. They chose Glen Lyon because it was the valley’s original place name and the name of the Pennsylvania Railroad station. Susquehanna also completed the colliery that same year.
In 1869 the Susquehanna Coal Company already controlled a large chunk of the area coal mining industry. Colonel Washington Lee’s Nanticoke colliery, established in 1852, was fully operational when the Pittston Railroad and Coal Company acquired it. Plans and construction were well underway for four other collieries in Nanticoke when the decision was made to build Colliery No. 6 in Glen Lyon.
Building the Glen Lyon colliery was not a difficult financial decision. The large, easy to mine deposits discovered beneath the valley floor and the surrounding hills offered great potential for large profits. The large profits, however, depended on the company getting the coal out of the ground and to market as fast as possible. Putting a colliery in-place would achieve that end. The colliery, the entire infrastructure needed to mine, process and ship anthracite directly to market, eliminated the cost and delay of loading and transporting the mined mixture of coal, slate and rock for processing at other existing company collieries. The Glen Lyon colliery was designated Susquehanna Colliery No. 6 for its numerical succession in the company’s mine inventory.
Construction of the colliery began in the 1870s and was completed in 1885 when Breaker No. 6 went on line. Touted as the second largest breaker in the world, it towered over 200 feet and spread 430 feet end to end. Laid across the valley north to south, hill to hill, it was shaped like a right triangle with its base on the valley floor and its hypotenuse sloping upward to a trestle at its south end. Its looming construction split the town almost equally east and west. The breaker’s location and commanding presence quickly found a place in the local idiom. When residents were asked where they lived or where the were going, they merely replied, “this side” or “the other side [of the breaker].”
A 190-foot wooden trestle spanned 100 feet above Nanticoke Street (later Main Street), connecting the top of the breaker to a large man-made tabletop plateau. Workmen, using mules, had constructed the plateau with refuse hauled from the Retreat Mountain tunnel and a newly driven Shaft, located a few hundred feet south of the breaker. The plateau-trestle design made No. 6 almost novel among area breakers. Loaded coal cars rolled directly from the shaft and tunnels across the long trestle to a tipping floor. This design eliminated a need for a conveyor system or heavy duty hoisting machinery used in most contemporary breakers to get coal from ground level to the top where gravity would finish the job of moving the coal through various processing operations.
After being dumped on the tipping floor, the coal, rock and slate slid downward in wooden chutes. Breaker boys removed the rock and slate, clamorous machinery crushed the remaining coal into various sizes and overhead sprays washed it. At the bottom, processed coal fell into waiting lines of railroad gondolas underneath the breaker. The loaded gondolas were hauled by steam engines over the Pennsylvania Railroad branch track running alongside Newport Creek to the main line at Nanticoke. The Sunbury Division of the Philadelphia and Erie Railroad, a subsidiary of the Pennsylvania Railroad, first provided branch service. After 1900 it was replaced by another Pennsylvania Railroad subsidiary, the Delaware and Hudson. The same track was also used to haul coal from Mine No. 6 near Stearns to the breaker for processing. The company had opened the Stearns mine shaft around 1900.
The breaker disgorged a monumental amount of waste and it had to be moved expeditiously to avoid burying the colliery. Most of it was moved to a culm bank at the top of Retreat Mountain on an inclined plane railroad. The railroad was located at the breaker’s north end and ran a distance of 450 feet up the mountainside. Descending empty cars assisted a hoist engine located at the top in pulling loaded ascending cars. The inclined plane railroad replaced mules, which were first used to haul breaker waste to a culm bank on the side of Retreat Mountain near West Enterprise Street.
Over the years, the black culm bank on top of Retreat Mountain grew to gigantic proportions, its upward incline inching to such great height that at times the bank disappeared into low-lying clouds. The bank caught fire in 1940s and burned for years; its yellow sulfuric smoke roiled over the valley and was particularly acrid to the nose on rainy days. In the 1950s, the company extinguished the fire at the insistence of the State Bureau of Mines.
Shaft No. 6, about 300 feet south of the breaker, was driven 800 feet deep to mine an enormous horizontal slab of coal buried beneath Glen Lyon. In the shadow of the steel hoist structure above the shaft opening, the company constructed foreman offices, a power station, repair shops, a worker washhouse (shifting shanty) and a hoist building.
The hoist building housed a huge Corliss steam engine. Wire cable wrapped around the engine’s two large counter-rotating drums and strung over two large spoked wheels atop the hoist structure above the shaft opening lowered and raised two opposing elevators. The miners called the elevators “cages” for their protecting steel box-like structure. A shaft engineer manually controlled the speed of the side-by-side cages, taking his cues from a wall-mounted mechanical gauge. There were no automatic protection devices so safe efficient operation depended on the cool-headedness and skill of the shaft engineer. Men and mules riding in the cages often endured mind numbing, eye-blurring descents and ascents because the engineer operated the hoist at maximum speed to meet his quota for loaded cars hoisted from the shaft.
The shaft engineer also operated a large air compressor located in the hoist building. The compressor supplied air to the colliery’s mine system and a large trumpet-like signal horn mounted on the building’s roof. The pulsating thumpthump thumpthump of the compressor’s two large steam driven pistons echoed around Glen Lyon as if the town’s heart beat. It was a constant throbbing reminder that the colliery’s payroll was the town’s economic lifeblood.
Following completion of Shaft No. 6, the first mine (No. 5) opened under Retreat Mountain by Welsh miners was re-designated Tunnel No. 5. Two additional tunnels came after No. 5. Tunnel No. 6 was driven into the hillside 600 yards south of the shaft to mine a vertical coal vein buried under the hill paralleling Newport Street. Miners would later name it Spin’s Tunnel for the motorman who operated the electric trolley, which towed cars and supplies to and from the various working faces in the tunnel. Tunnel No. 7 was drilled and blasted into the hillside at the west end of Newport Street. A track on the hillside paralleling Newport Street connected the tunnel with the breaker.
Support structures, including a new company administration building and store, storage buildings, boiler-pump house, mule barn and a number of sundry smaller buildings, were constructed west of the breaker near North Market Street.
A large sign nailed over the front door of the company store announced Orzehoski’s General Merchandise and Groceries in large white letters. The sign was a thin disguise, done mostly for outsider benefit. Coal companies routinely used the hired storekeeper’s name to camouflage the true ownership of the store.
Orzehoski’s was located near the corner of Market and Railroad Streets. In the 1920s the company submitted to public, and finally government, pressures and closed the dreaded Pluck-Me-Store, so named for its high prices and deceptive sales practices. (Mr. Orzehoski, who had nothing to do with company policy, later opened his own dry goods store on West Main Street and was a highly respected private businessperson.)
The administration building was conveniently located across the street from the company store. On paydays (usually Fridays) miners formed long lines along Market Street as they shuffled up the six concrete steps to the paymaster’s window. Each collected a small manila envelope containing their wages. Wives of some miners waited at the end of the building’s long porch, snatching the pay envelopes before their husbands could disappear into their favorite saloons.
Mining operations were naturally plagued by great quantities of water that seeped into the tunnels and pump systems had to be put in place to remove it. The first system consisted of pumps in Tunnel No. 6 and Shaft No. 6. The pumps discharged the rusty colored sulfurous mine wastewater into a rivulet cascading down an undeveloped hillside about 300 hundred feet east of the Chestnut-Newport Streets intersection. Paralleling Chestnut Street, the rivulet meandered across a clear area that would later become the play yard for the Kosciuszko Elementary School. The rusty water made its way under Main Street, then turned east under the breaker finally flowing into Newport Creek.
In the early 1900s, the system was re-engineered and most of the water was diverted from the tunnels into the foot of Shaft No. 6; from there it was pumped out of the ground into concrete holding tanks near the breaker. The long rectangular holding tanks paralleling Main Street provided supplemental water for washing processed coal. All of the wastewater from the mining and processing operations eventually found its way into Newport Creek, which by 1920 was no longer recognizable as a natural waterway. Much of Newport Creek would eventually disappear, seeping into the tunnels beneath the valley only to be reborn again as sulfurous wastewater.
As Newport Street, east of Chestnut, was developed after 1900, the company moved the discharge from the pump in Tunnel No. 6 to a ravine a half-mile further south. The odorous wastewater out flowed into a natural stream that coursed eastward through Socki’s farm (one of two local farms still operating in the 1940s) and eventually into Newport Creek at the east end of town.
A spacious mule barn was constructed during the 1870s along West Nanticoke Street, across from the present site of St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Church. The barn fronted 170 feet on Nanticoke Street and had a depth of 35 feet. The army of mules housed in the spacious barn provided the heavy hauling power needed to operate the colliery. The ubiquitous mules: hauled refuse from the breaker to culm banks, towed empty coal cars and supplies into and coal-laden cars out of the mine tunnels, tugged timber from logging operations on the hillsides and did odd jobs about the colliery.
The mules were part of early Glen Lyon’s ambiance. Intelligent, sure-footed and masters of the bluff, each had a personality all its own. Their antics made for much entertaining conversation about town. At a drop of a hat, miners, laborers and mule drivers would regale stories about the mules’ escapades. Much to the annoyance of the barn boss, children would steal to the pens and entertain themselves by enticing the mules to perform with offerings of their favorite addictions such as stogies, chewing tobacco, vegetables, fruit and sandwiches of all types. The mules were always more than happy to oblige.
Before the sun rose each day, the mule platoons, lead by their drivers, could be heard marching in clip-clop cadence to various work sites about the colliery. At day’s end, they plodded, some individually, some in groups, back to the barn. The unseen mules working deep in the various tunnels were kept in underground barns; many spent their entire lives there.
In the 1890s small steam engines, called lokeys (colloquial for locomotives) began replacing the mules. In time, lokeys, electric trolleys and bulldozer-tractors replaced the mules entirely. The last mule disappeared from the Glen Lyon colliery in the early 1940s.
When finally completed in 1885, the townspeople marveled at the colliery, particularly its massive breaker. The entire system was neatly tied together: coal from the mines moved with no lost motion to the breaker and then downward to the waiting railroad gondolas beneath and on to waiting markets. Many would later come to scorn the breaker as a towering monument to an industry that derived great profits by exploiting, then abandoning its work force.
The opening of the mine in Glen Lyon fueled a critical need for labor during the 1870s. To fill the need, the Susquehanna Coal Company set about recruiting men (and boys) from western and Eastern Europe. Immigrants from Britain, Ireland, Greece, Italy, Poland, the Ukraine and other eastern European countries streamed into Glen Lyon looking for jobs. The population increased from a handful of Welsh miners in 1870 to almost 3000 people by eighteen ninety-seven. It matched a similar population increase in Newport Township, which had ballooned from 4,900 to 160,915 between 1790 and 1870.
As the population grew, hotels, boarding houses and businesses offering a variety of services began to appear. New arrivals were accommodated at three hotels: Keller’s Hotel on the southwest corner of Orchard and Apple; the Glen Lyon Hotel at the south corner of East Nanticoke and Coal; and the Dunn Hotel on East Nanticoke across the street from the future site of Roosevelt School. First to move into the hotels were mine workers who had been commuting from the Newport Hotel, W Cheer Hotel and the Pacific House in Wanamie.
Saloons were among the first businesses to appear. By 1897 twenty-four saloons (one for every 115 people) dotted the town, many situated almost side-by-side. The saloons were more than a place for carousing. They opened early and closed late providing a readily available center for getting information and services and transacting business. Immigrants could find temporary lodging, exchange news, get interpreter services, have letters written and papers notarized, purchase money orders and obtain credit and even deposit savings in “immigrant banks”. Miners paid laborers there. Foremen saw the saloons as hiring halls and would go there to look for labor.
The town expanded along its principal streets, which were laid out north to south and east to west and took on the names of landmarks. Nanticoke Street was the main road east to Nanticoke. Orchard, Apple and Chestnut Streets were laid out on former farmlands. Newport Street, the township’s namesake, was the main road west to Conynham Township. Enterprise Street (the main street in the Village of Morgantown) marked the name of the company’s first colliery in Shamokin. The breaker later split Enterprise Street into east and west. Spring Street was the site of a major spring that fed Newport Creek.
The town’s first businesses appeared on Market Street. Market Street was an early farm collection site for storing grain for transport to market. Itinerant farmers and peddlers later gathered there to sell meat, poultry, vegetables and dry goods to the first residents of the village patch. The company general and grocery stores were located there. The town’s first drug store and barbershop opened for business on the southeast corner of Market and Nanticoke Streets.
Nanticoke Street was later renamed Main Street when it replaced Newport Street as the main road to Conynham Township.
As Glen Lyon rapidly expanded to accommodate the influx of workers, the Village of Morgantown became just another town street (West Enterprise). West Enterprise Street thereafter was commonly referred to as company patch. Although the village patch formally ceased to exist, the US Post Office continued to deliver mail addressed to Morgantown long after Glen Lyon was chartered, the last delivery known to be in the 1930s.
Around 1880 the Susquehanna Coal Company installed a water system under Glen Lyon’s principal streets. The system’s primary functions were to provide water to the breaker for its coal washing operation and fire protection for the colliery and most town residents. The pump house, located next to the breaker, was supplied from a reservoir two miles east of Glen Lyon. The reservoir, in turn, was pressure filled from the company’s Nanticoke water system. Water was also supplied from a ten million gallon “Glen Lyon” reservoir, which was located in the area bounded by the present day intersection of West Main and Railroad Streets.
In 1890 the Glen Lyon Fire Brigade consisted of 30 volunteers and a horse drawn hose cart with three thousand feet of 21/2-inch hose. The Brigade’s hose house and barn were located ninety feet east of the Market-Nanticoke streets intersection. The Susquehanna Company organized its own fire department with employee volunteers. Because of the great potential for fire, a colliery watchman was constantly on duty in the water system pump house.
In the late 1920s or early 1930s, with a small company contribution, the town floated a bond issue, purchased two new fire trucks and constructed two identical red brick firehouses. Volunteer Hose Company No. 1 occupied the firehouse on East Main Street; Volunteer Hose Company No. 2 occupied the firehouse on Orchard Street. In return for the financial help, the town assumed the company’s fire protection responsibility. The Susquehanna Company, however, insisted on controlling the response of the hose companies by using its melodious full-throated baritone air horn mounted on the hoist building to signal fire recalls. The horn’s euphonious blare resonated off the surrounding hills and could be heard as far as five miles or more. It also trumpeted mine emergencies, a 9 p.m. curfew, a 6 a.m. work call, and practice air raid alerts during WWII.
Until the 1920s Glen Lyon’s streets remained unpaved but had acquired a hard crust from many applications of light oil. The Work Project Administration (WPA) paved most of the streets during the depression years; sidewalks were included along the major streets. The WPA also funded construction of the town’s combined sanitary and storm sewer system. Untreated sewage and rainwater runoff out flowed into Newport Creek at the eastern edge of town. Some years earlier, the company’s water system had been commercially acquired and upgraded to bring potable water to town residents from the Ceasetown Dam, located west of Nanticoke.
Susquehanna officials held a natural loathing for any dependency on outside suppliers so instead of buying water from the municipal system, the company built a spring fed reservoir at the base of Penobscot Mountain near the small hamlet of Lee to supply water for colliery operations. A pump discharged water from the reservoir into an eight-inch cast iron pipe, running five miles to a standpipe on top of Bunker Hill. (The promontory above the east end of Newport Street was about 250 yards north of the Tunnel No. 6 entrance. The first miners named the rocky outcrop Bunker Hill because it resembled a hill in Shamokin by the same name that also was a high point overlooking the colliery and its surrounding culm banks.)
The reservoir became known as Kieler’s Dam. Doctor Kieler, the company physician, had exclusive use of the reservoir, including a company-built cottage at the eastern end as part compensation for his services. The company’s Coal and Iron Police patrolled the dam, not hesitating to drive out trespassers attracted by its plentiful fish population.
Three public schools were constructed during the 1870s and 1880s on company donated land: the company owned Glen Lyon School on Enterprise Street, the Coal Street Public School and the Newport Street Public School (The building later became the American Legion Home). The three schools were replaced about 1924 to accommodate Glen Lyon’s increasing population. The new schools were the: ornate Kosciuszko Elementary on Newport Street, grades K-4; Roosevelt Elementary on East Main Street, grades K-4; and Pulaski Grade School adjacent to the Kosciuszko school, grades 5-8. Pulaski became the township junior high school about 1950. The township high school, built around 1900, was located in nearby Wanamie.
During the 1870s, the Welsh Congregational Church was established on the corner of East Nanticoke and Apple Streets. The church served the Welsh community until it was abandoned in the early 1900s. The Methodist Episcopal Church was established on Market Street around 1890 and primarily served the English community. The Irish community constructed Saint Dennis Roman Catholic Church on East Nanticoke Street during the late 1880s. About the same time Saint Michael’s Greek Catholic Church was constructed one block further east on East Nanticoke. As the Greek population diminished during the early 1900s, Saint Michael’s parish moved to a building on Spring Street. The Ukrainian community took possession of the former Greek Church on East Nanticoke Street and renamed it Saint Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church.
In 1895 the Polish community dedicated Glen Lyon’s largest church, Saint Adalbert’s, on Market Street. During the early 1900s, Saint Michael’s, similar in architecture to Saint Adalbert’s, was constructed on an abutting property. It faced West Main Street. Locals referred to the churches as the old parish and the new parish, respectively. Saint Michael’s accommodated the growing population of first and second-generation children of the eastern and western European immigrants, who came to Glen Lyon between 1880 and 1910.
Saint Michael’s served as the setting for the fictional miracle in Russel Janney’s book, The Miracle of the Bells. In 1948, it was turned into a movie of the same title. The movie starred Fred MacMurry, Frank Sinatra and Lee J. Cobb. Some of the scenes where filmed in Glen Lyon using the Colliery as a backdrop. St. Michael’s did not appear in the movie. Movie critics gave it a low rating, citing the film as often ludicrous despite a sincere big name cast.
In 1900 the People’s Street Railway Company of Wilkes-Barre extended trolley service from Hanover to Glen Lyon. The trolleys ran regular schedules between Glen Lyon and Public Square in Wilkes-Barre. At the Glen Lyon end, the trolleys reversed on East Main Street in front of the Glen Lyon National Bank. After People’s Railway acquired the Nanticoke and Hanover system, Glen Lyon trolleys terminated at the public park in Nanticoke. Trolley travelers then had to walk or run downhill to Main Street for connections to Wilkes-Barre. The system operated until the early 1940s when buses replaced the trolleys. After the track was removed, the county built a new road from Glen Lyon to Sheatown on the abandoned trolley right-of-way.
A Company Town to the End
Although Glen Lyon became a municipality in 1885 and its affairs were legally answerable to the people, to a large extent it remained a company town. The Susquehanna Coal Company controlled local government through its Taxpayer’s Association, which was a euphemistic title for self-serving land and tax control. Ownership of virtually all of the land in and around Glen Lyon gave the company control over taxes and, more important, over the sale of any land that even remotely might result in competition for the local labor market. The company routinely denied requests for land purchases; a stance it maintained until the colliery closed. Even in the 1950s, knowing its business life was coming to an end, the company still refused to sell lands that could have been used to lure other industries.
Immigrants made up most of Glen Lyon’s early population. Many lived at or below the poverty level. A mine laborer’s pay was insufficient to even afford the essentials necessary for survival. Most families had to find other means to supplement their income.
Boys as young as eight years old went to work as breaker boys, nippers (also called trappers), spraggers and mule drivers. Breaker boys picked out slate and rock from coal descending in chutes from the top of the breaker. Nippers opened and closed ventilation doors as cars rolled in and out of the tunnels. Spraggers ran along side free rolling coal cars while skillfully aiming and throwing sprags into the wheels to stop them at the precise place. Luckier boys got jobs as mule drivers. Drivers not only got paid more but also working with the mules proved to be the most fun and offered the greatest potential for being hired as a laborer.
Women took in sewing and laundry jobs; some made and sold dresses. Young girls worked as domestics in houses of the more affluent miners and colliery officials. Many wives made additional money by taking in boarders. The census taken in the early 1900s showed a significant number of boarders living in Glen Lyon residences. The boarders usually were new immigrants and bachelors. Many times widows and widowers, with and without children, could also be found living in the boarding houses. Room and board cost between two and three dollars a month in 1900.
Home manufacturing produced much of the people’s material needs: quilts and carpets were made from scraps of discarded fabrics; goose and duck feathers went into pillows and blankets; and men turned discarded wood into prized pieces of furniture.
Very few yards were without gardens for raising vegetables and fruits and sheds for keeping rabbits, chickens, ducks, and pigs. Many families owned a cow. Walkways leading to back yards disappeared into tunnel like structures of densely intertwined grapevines. Every basement had its gurgling barrels of sauerkraut, pickles, wine and cider. Seasonal foraging in the surrounding woods produced blackberries, gooseberries, huckleberries, mushrooms, nuts, sassafras roots and wild grapes. Canning was an annual event, marked in autumn by exchanges between families to increase the variety of foods stored on basement shelves. Bubbling vats of animal fats and lye in backyards produced soap.
Mothers and young children forayed to the culm banks near the breaker to pick small pieces of coal mixed with the refuse or to the railroad tracks for coal jarred from overloaded cars (Miners often intentionally overloaded cars to ensure coal would fall off in convenient places). Pickers had to duck the patrolling Coal and Iron Police who arrested trespassers on company property. Husbands were summarily fired when family members were caught.
In the early 1920s, Engle’s Apparel Factory opened on Third Street near St. Dennis Church. The coal company did not oppose the factory on the proviso that no males be hired and the factory would not produce products other than women’s garments. Mothers and daughters toiled side-by-side at Engle’s making brassieres. Pay was strictly by piece rate. No pieces, no pay. By today’s standards, it was a sweatshop, but the money earned by the women frequently meant the difference between family survival and destitution. Three or four other apparel factories located in town between 1920 and 1950. Working conditions and wages seemed to improve after the factories became unionized.
Most early townspeople could not afford leisure trips or vacations. For leisure and entertainment, they relied on church carnivals and socials and saloon clambakes. Although poor in material wealth, the various ethnic groups, bound by a common purpose, shared their rich cultural and social traditions with each other at these events. Hungarian, Italian, German, Polish, Slav, Ukrainian and English in various dialects and accents could be heard coming out of the cacophony of voices at these gatherings.
Radio was the first form of outside entertainment most could afford. A Philco, Atwater, Kent, Crosley or a Zenith in the living room represented a great luxury. In many cases, the radios, encased in finished wood cabinets, were the most expensive piece of furniture in peoples’ living rooms. During fair weather, Sunday strollers on Glen Lyon’s streets would be treated to classical and polka music and Italian operas coming from open doors and windows.
The townspeople passionately embraced sports and events usually attracted large crowds. The Glen Lyon Colliery had its own baseball team, playing teams from other collieries in the area. Basketball and gymnastics were actively pursued at the Newport Street Public School’s small gymnasium. Boxing events were held at various venues. In the 1940s a semiprofessional baseball team, Glen Lyon Condors, played games at the diamond north of St. Adalbert’s Cemetery on the Glen Lyon-Mocanaqua Road. The Newport Eagles, a semiprofessional basketball team, played games at the Pulaski School gym for a short time. The Italian Sporting Club held bocce tournaments at its clubhouse on Apple Street. The alleys around Apple Street were frequent scenes of intensely emotional bocce games. A number of early Glen Lyoners went on to state, collegiate and professional acclaim in their field of sport.
The more affluent of the town’s inhabitants took leisure hours at Long Pond (Lily Lake) and Triangle Pond (Nungola Lake). The Long Pond Hotel (The hotel was operated by the Long family who owned most of the lake) offered accommodations and activities such as swimming, hiking, fishing, hunting, ice-skating and exercise programs. In the summer, dances were held at the hotel’s pavilion near the beach. Between dances, quests could visit the concession stands surrounding the pavilion. Another beach, with a high diving platform, was constructed at the west end of the lake. People labeled it Sandy Beach for its natural sandy bottom. A few concession stands opened near Sandy Beach, but they disappeared in the early 1940s. Triangle pond offered individual rental cottages; concessions lined the main street leading to the lake.
Between 1900 and 1930, the people of Glen Lyon benefited from a combination of increased coal production, union-won wage increases and improvements in working conditions. A growth in the money supply ushered in a period of relative prosperity, triggering home construction and an expanding commercial base. Beginning in the early nineteen hundreds, businesses of all types began to spring up along the full one mile length of Main Street: drug, grocery, confectionery, furniture, florist, general merchandise and hardware stores, a five and ten, doctors, dentists, restaurants, a bank, two movie theaters, a bowling alley, and even a General Motors dealership. Visitors were amazed by the unusually wide variety of goods and services found in this small coal-mining town.
By 1905 Susquehanna Colliery No. 6 had become one of the largest producers of anthracite coal in Wyoming Valley. Immigrants seeking jobs continued to flow into the community well into the 1920s, expanding the population to over 4000 people. Ironically Glen Lyon was growing and prospering while insurmountable labor-management problems in the anthracite fields were propelling the mining industry into a steep decline.
While Glen Lyon was enjoying its prosperity, a bitter conflict between the northeast coal companies and the mineworkers’ union was playing itself out. The coal companies unyielding drive for profit had long been at loggerheads with the union struggle for wage and work condition concessions. The clash only hastened the industry’s death: the companies intransigence was pricing anthracite out of the marketplace; union strikes were disrupting coal supplies.
Industry and the public began railing against the uncertain supplies. They railed against the prices, which were inflated by outrageous freight charges the anthracite railroads tacked on to the low prices they paid their own subsidiaries. Focused on maintaining profits while they lasted, the companies stood together in refusing the public any price concessions or any pay and work concessions to their own labor force. The union continued to use the only tool it had: the strike.
Alienated by inconsistent fuel supplies and high prices, the public finally cast a pox on the anthracite industry in the early 1920s and turned to more reliable and cheaper fuel sources such as oil, gas and soft coal. The resulting large losses in market demand produced corresponding drops in anthracite production. Collieries closed. Unemployment rose to seventy-five percent in the small towns. Companies kept new workers and fired the older higher paid workers, putting many forty and fifty year old men on the street.
As the market continued to collapse during the 1920s, the coal companies, satisfied with their profits and control over local governments, chose to ride it out. They showed no intention of investing money to recoup the market or search for alternative anthracite applications to keep the industry viable. The end was in sight, although the unions ignored it and many workers were unaware of it.
Despite the collapsing anthracite market and labor turmoil at other area collieries, the Glen Lyon colliery worked full time except during general strikes. It was the only area colliery working full time during the depression years. The only major shutdown occurred in 1936 when the colliery closed for a six-month breaker renovation. The new machinery and infrastructure installed increased efficiency; the renovations also ended the era of the breaker boys, nippers and stragglers--much to delight of mothers.
Prosperity had been long on coming to Glen Lyon, arriving in the early 1900s, more than thirty years after the Welsh miners loaded the first shovel full of coal in Mine No. 5. Short lived, the good times lasted just a few decades. Glen Lyon’s prosperity began fading in the 1930s as the collapsing market and labor-management struggle began taking an increasing toll from production and jobs at Colliery No. 6. As fallout from the collision between the coal companies and the union spread across Glen Lyon’s economic landscape, it ushered in a period of change that would reshape the town’s physical landscape and the lives of its people forever.
The struggle between the workers and the coal companies visited strikes and financial hard times on the families in the Wyoming coalfield throughout the first three decades of the twentieth century. During the great strike of 1902, Glen Lyon workers (and their families) came together as a community in strong support of the United Mine Workers of America (UMW) union in its struggle with the coal companies to improve working conditions and wages. The community stood solid for the next thirty years, unbending in its quest for fair treatment.
The main issues were almost unimaginable working conditions and a pay system that, by design, kept most families near the poverty level. Toiling away the daylight hours in deep, dark, damp, dusty tunnels, mine workers constantly ran a gauntlet of dangers: cave-ins, fires, flooding, suffocating dust, gas, explosions and the lurking accidents always waiting to happen. Although no disasters or major accidents were ever recorded at Colliery No. 6, individuals were killed, a number were maimed for life. Three out of four surviving these underground dangers would later develop black lung disease. There was no compensation for those maimed. No compensation for widows. No compensation for those afflicted with black lung. Families were left to their own devices in finding ways to survive.
Although general union strikes against the coal companies stopped work at the Glen Lyon Colliery, the people remained staunchly loyal to the union and always rallied as a community to survive. Glen Lyon’s businesses joined the fight, unhesitantly carrying the workers on the books. In turn, the workers dutifully paid on their books when they could and unwaveringly supported local businesses. The community’s solidarity seemingly paid off as Glen Lyon usually was one of the first collieries to go back to work. Miners credited John L. Lewis, the UMW president, for their perceived good fortune. Glen Lyon miners and laborers revered Lewis, almost holding him up as an icon.
About 1920, an event fundamentally changed the relationship between the workers, the UMW Local and the company: The Pennsylvania Railroad sold its coal mining interests to the M.A. Hanna Company. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, M.A. Hanna was a large diversified company; anthracite mining was but one small component of its interests. The Glen Lyon colliery represented even a tinier interest and headquarters paid little attention to it, leaving much of the day-to-day operations in the hands of local managers.
Getting concessions for its members from an even more distant owner whose sole interest was profit became a formidable challenge for local union officials. The company would stonewall major grievances on pay and work condition issues and get away with it. In another ploy, many grievances were routinely referred back to local management for action; however, in a catch-22, local mangers had no authority to take action on the grievances. Some grievances got lost in the back and forth shuffle between Cleveland and Glen Lyon. Others died in the Local grievance committee or got whitewashed by packed arbitration panels.
Local union officials, concerned with their own survival, became more accommodating to the company’s demands. At times they seemed to side more with the company on issues than with their own members. Members began experiencing difficulty in getting the union grievance committee to air rank-and-file complaints before local managers. The union Local was put off-balance, and the national office, busy with its own interests, was of no help. Local company management, with at least the appearance of union backing, intensified its tightfisted control of jobs and local land use and concentrated on maximizing profits until the coal played out--as indeed it would.
In the 1930s sentiment toward Lewis and the UMW began to change. Mineworkers throughout the Wyoming Valley, including Glen Lyon, were becoming increasingly disgruntled with the UMW. The UMW was failing to address the rank and file’s real concerns and was perceived to have become somewhat corrupt. Reports that John L. Lewis was making secret deals with the coal companies only deepened distrust of the UMW.
A major shift in attitude towards the union occurred when John L. Lewis won the check-off (companies deducted union dues directly from worker paychecks). Area miners saw it as “the worst evil” perpetrated on them. With the companies collecting the dues, union officials became even further removed from the rank and file. The check-off and the closed shop (UMW membership required to work at the colliery) made workers subject not only to the company but also to the whims of union officials. Respect for the union plummeted.
Workers saw local union officials as allies of the company. It was also becoming obvious to them that the union had done nothing to lessen the company’s grip on the Glen Lyon economy. Held as a captive labor force for over sixty years, the rank and file were furious that no other industries had been permitted to locate in Glen Lyon; industries that could provide alternatives to mine work. Finally they recognized that the union’s momentum had stalled. Recent gains had been minimal and the company still held a tight grip on wages and working conditions, keeping them far below other eastern industries.
Mine workers wanted better wages and working conditions; they also wanted union reform and, most of all, job equalization (sharing the dwindling work opportunities equally among all workers). The Susquehanna Coal Company would have none of it; the UMW had its own agenda and only gave job equalization lip service.
In 1933 families, business leaders and community organizations appealed to President Roosevelt, asking for his help in the National Recovery Administration (NRA) code hearings for the anthracite industry. They wanted the president to bring his weight to bear for including equalization in the code. The letters pleaded for justice and an end to the poverty in the coalfields. The pleas produced nothing.
The president supported Lewis and the UMW agenda; the NRA and the National Labor Relations Board supported the companies. There would be no equalization clause in the code or in any future collective bargaining contracts. Mineworkers clearly had no champion in Washington. In a show of defiance, Glen Lyon miners stood together and implemented a form of equalization of their own. Their unflinching solidarity eventually overcame company opposition, but this small victory would not alter the course of coming events.
Frustration reached a high pitch and a majority of mine workers began to support the United Anthracite Miners of Pennsylvania (UAM), a union movement born in Wilkes-Barre and bent on replacing the UMW. Feeling disenfranchised, the workers were convinced an independent union was needed to fight company abuse and the collusion between the company and UMW officials.
Former Glen Lyon miners interviewed by John Bodnar (Bodnar 1983) told him that UMW officials and the bosses worked together. Citing many examples, they described how union officials usually got the better jobs, where coal was easier to mine. Payoffs to foreman for jobs were common practice. Union leaders got paid for loaded cars even when they took off work to attend meetings and conventions. Miners sympathetic to the UAM got work places where coal was difficult to mine or were transferred to a distant colliery or fired outright; the more vocal were blackballed from working anywhere in the anthracite coal fields. When miners lost their jobs, so did their laborers since the laborers actually worked for the miners and not the company.
In Glen Lyon, mine workers found the collusion between the UMW and the Susquehanna Coal Company a nut impossible to crack. With company backing, the union dealt with its members with an iron hand. At a meeting of the insurgent UAM union at the Roosevelt School, UMW officials stood at the door taking names, promising the workers that they wouldn’t have a job if they went in. Many turned away at the foot of the stone steps leading to the school, hoping to slip away into the night unnoticed. Glen Lyon had been working steady when other collieries weren’t and the men didn’t want to jeopardize that. So most kept their mouths shut and kept their jobs.
The combined efforts of the coal companies, the UMW and local governments finally squashed the UAM movement. Failing to install a new union, insurgent members within the Glen Lyon Local then tried to gain a foothold by unseating incumbent officials. The efforts backfired. Union Local elections were fixed; incumbents always got reelected. Ballots were counted and recounted, in the back room if necessary, until the right numbers came up. Those opposing the incumbents simply lost their jobs.
The UMW’s heavy-handed tactics in dealing with its membership’s attempt to install a new union created considerable violence in many Wyoming Valley towns during the 1930s. The coal companies’ active support of the UMW in its fight to stop the new union only helped escalate the violence. Glen Lyon was fortunately spared. Except for a few neighbor versus neighbor skirmishes, the violence stopped at Wanamie.
The United Anthracite Miners union movement failed to unseat the UMW, but the three-way struggle between the mineworkers, the UMW and the Susquehanna Coal Company turned the 1930s into a watershed decade for Glen Lyon. The good times had peaked; jobs and the economy began sliding downhill. As employment levels at the colliery dropped steeply in the 1940s, families left Glen Lyon to find work in Michigan, Maryland, New York, and New Jersey. Many GIs returning from WWII chose GI Bill retraining and left town for other work rather than go back into the mines. Businesses began to close.
The easy-to-mine coal all but gone, the company began to lease large tracts of land to strip miners. The strip miners, using huge diesel powered shovels and drag lines, tore deep gashes into the landscape scooping out the coal veins outcropping near the surface. Strip mining replaced hundreds of colliery workers; it also destroyed thousands of acres of pristine woodlands.
The reign of “King Anthracite” ended in Glen Lyon during the 1960s. By then the easy coal was gone; the big profits had long evaporated; oil, gas and soft coal had replaced anthracite. Anticipating the coming demise of the industry, the Susquehanna Coal Company had started reducing operations in the early 1940s, turning over large land blocks to strip miners. The M. A. Hanna Company dealt the final deathblow to Glen Lyon when it closed Colliery No. 6 after divesting itself of all mining interests in 1967. The colliery’s heartbeat, the pulsating thump thump of the huge air compressor, and its voice, the air horn that summoned and dismissed the town each day for almost ninety years, fell silent.
Demolition of the colliery started about 1970. In October 1974, a favorable fire completely destroyed the breaker. The remnants of Colliery No. 6 were cleaned up shortly thereafter. Culm banks were camouflaged with hardy plantings. Strip mining scars were filled with poor grade dirt and rock and disguised with hardy trees and brush. Dried up beds of long ago pristine springs and creeks disappeared into a heavy cover of brush. Nearly one hundred years of Susquehanna Coal Company’s stewardship had changed Glen Lyon’s landscape beyond recognition to the first settlers.
The company abandoned the town, it abandoned its employees: no pensions, no health care, and no unemployment insurance. The UMW did nothing for its members, who gave the union years of loyalty and support during the most difficult human conditions endured by workers in any industry. In the end, the only benefit the mineworkers won was black lung compensation. Ironically, they could only collect it by dying. The benefit was paid to workers’ widows.
For nearly 100 years, the Susquehanna Coal Company successfully manipulated local officials and the Chamber of Commerce to block other industries from entering the Glen Lyon labor market. When the colliery shut down, the jobs disappeared. Businesses vanished. The schools closed. The Susquehanna Company, which literally built the town from nothing left it with nothing, except the boils and scars on the landscape, dried up creeks and springs, polluted water courses and Main Street’s empty storefronts.
A variety of sources contributed to the writing of Glen Lyon’s history. In the references listed below, The Kingdom of Coal and Growing Up in Coal Country were particularly helpful in providing a historical background of the Northeastern Pennsylvania anthracite industry and the people who worked and lived it. The Bodnar interviews provided first hand accounts of the trials and tribulations experienced by miners and their families in Glen Lyon and the surrounding communities during the period 1900 to 1940.
This history of Glen Lyon’s first hundred years grew out of: 1) a reconstruction of events and activities based on information from historical maps obtained from the Library of Congress and the US Geodetic Survey; 2) pertinent information gleaned from the references below; 3) oral histories taken from people who lived in Glen Lyon during the period 1890 to 1970; 4) information from the author’s family documents; 5) facts and data from miscellaneous newspaper articles and records obtained from Internet sources; and 6) the author’s first-hand knowledge of the town and its people.
Bartoletti, S. C.. 1996. Growing up in Coal Country. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Bodnar, John. 1983. Anthracite People: Families, unions and work, 1900-1940.
Harrisburg: Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.
Bradsby, M. C. n.d. History of Luzerne County. Archives of the Church of the Latter Day Saints, Salt Lake City (microfilm, Family History Library).
Miller, D. L. and Sharpless, R. E.. The Kingdom of Coal. n.d. N.p. ISBN 0-8122-7991-3.
Pearce, Stewart. n.d. Annals of Luzerne County, A Record of Interesting Events. Archives of the Church of the Latter-Day Saints, Salt Lake City (microfilm, Family History Library).
Contributed by Anthony “Tony” Doren