Near Pottsville in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Coal Miners' Statue
Schuylkill County, PA
This monument is to honor the Anthracite Miners of Schuylkill County - past, present, and future, and to commemorate in a very special way the many men and boys who lost their lives in the mines.
The Miners' Statue was placed here by the Rotary Club of Minersville, Pennsylvania. The project committee was chaired by Joseph Walacavage who donated the land and whose fondness for his native region and loyalty to his fellow miners were the inspiration for this monument. Mr. Walacavage was born on March 12, 1930, and died on July 2, 1997, just four days after witnessing the unveiling and dedication of this statue.
The Miners' Statue was created by Pottsville native and sculptor Jim Ponter, who described the project as a labor of love. Mr. Ponter is a 1941 graduate of Pottsville High School. At the time he created the statue he served as Senior Sculptor at the Franklin Mint in Media, Pennsylvania.
The statue was cast in Chester, Pennsylvania, at LARAN Bronze Company, owned by Larry & Randy Welker.
The Rotary Club of Minersville especially acknowledges the assistance of Vincent J. Land, Colonel, US Army (Ret.),
The Rotary Club of Minersville, Pennsylvania
[Officers names not transcribed]
As a boy he worked in the breaker picking slate out of the coal.
As an adolescent he worked the doors, or led the mule teams, or threw spragues between the wheels of the coal cars.
As a young man, he helped the miner dig the coal, and he loaded it into the cars supplied by the mule drivers.
As a Miner he drilled into the coal, set the charges, and blasted the coal loose.
As an old man, as a miner with injuries, he returned to the breaker to work beside the boys picking slate.
Twice a boy, they said, and once a man when you worked inside the mines.
Anthracite - hard coal - was known and used by the Indians and local settlers well before Necho Allen "discovered" coal on Sharp Mountain outside of Pottsville in 1790. The discovery by those outside the region that anthracite would actually burn led to boom times in Schuylkill County starting in the 1820's and 1830's. Locally mined coal heated the homes of Philadelphia, fueled the Industrial Revolution,
Schuylkill County and the nation would be a different place today if the miner had not toiled above ground and in the depths to extract anthracite from where it formed so many millions of years ago. Many lost their lives and even more were injured over the years. This monument is dedicated to the memory of all who have worked in the mines. Let us thank these miners, for they have touched our lives.
Dr. Thomas E. Graves, President, 1996-1997
Rotary Club of Minersville, Pennsylvania
Erected 1997 by The Rotary Club of Minersville PA and Concerned Citizens and Organizations.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Disasters • Environment • Fraternal or Sororal Organizations • Industry & Commerce. A significant historical date for this entry is March 12, 1930.
Location. 40° 40.724′ N, 76° 14.912′ W. Marker is near Pottsville, Pennsylvania, in Schuylkill County. Marker is at the intersection of Pottsville-Minersville Highway (U.S. 209) and Bunting Street (U.S. 209), on the left when traveling north on Pottsville-Minersville Highway. Touch for map. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. War Memorial (approx. 0.9 miles away); War Memorial Stadium (approx. 1.4 miles away); The Frank D. Yuengling Home (approx. 2.1 miles away); Burd Patterson (approx. 2½ miles away); John O'Hara (approx. 2.6 miles away); In Memory of the First Defenders and Nicholas Biddle (approx. 2.6 miles away); Spanish War Veterans (approx. 2.6 miles away); Molly Maguire Executions (approx. 2.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Pottsville.
Credits. This page was last revised on November 24, 2021. It was originally submitted on November 24, 2021, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 291 times since then and 237 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on November 24, 2021, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.