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Near Pottsville in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Coal Miners' Statue

Minersville

 

— Schuylkill County, PA —

 
Coal Miners' Statue Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., November 19, 2021
1. Coal Miners' Statue Marker
Inscription.  
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 Miner" Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., November 19, 2021
2. "The Miner" Marker
Click or scan to see
this page online
who became chairman of the Rotary Miners' Statue Committee upon the death of Mr. Walacavage, and the support of Earl W. Kieffer, President of Independent Miners and Associates.

This Monument was dedicated on June 28, 1997.
The Rotary Club of Minersville, Pennsylvania
[Officers names not transcribed]
——————————————————————————
The Miner

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,
Coal Miners' Monument image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., November 19, 2021
3. Coal Miners' Monument
The markers are on the plaza surrounding the statue
and helped win the Civil War and two World Wars. Although there are not as many mines as there were years ago, the industry continues to be a vital part of the region's culture and economic life.

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: DisastersEnvironmentFraternal or Sororal OrganizationsIndustry & 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.
Coal Miners' Statue image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., November 19, 2021
4. Coal Miners' Statue
Marker is at or near this postal address: 1587 Bunting Street, Pottsville PA 17901, United States of America. 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); 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); Yuengling -America's Oldest Brewery (approx. 2.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Pottsville.
 
Coal Miners' Monument Plaza Representative Pavers image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., November 19, 2021
5. Coal Miners' Monument Plaza Representative Pavers
Coal Miners' Statue Contributors Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., November 19, 2021
6. Coal Miners' Statue Contributors Marker
 
 
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 48 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on November 24, 2021, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.

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Nov. 30, 2021