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02 August, 2007

Slope 190 Coal Mine, Scranton PA.

The name Scranton Pennyslvania may not exactly spring to mind as a tourist destination. But like many cities and towns, it has does have its charm and interesting stops. I highly recommend the Lackawanna County Coal mine tour. The tour includes an underground visit in the Slope 190 Mine approximately 300ft. underground.

The 190 Slope follows the Clark Bed into the valley and was a working mine until sometime in the 1960's .

The illustration (above) shows the Clark Bed running between strata or layers of rock. This picture (below) offers you my view from between those layers of rock!

This is a picture taken from the top of a shaker chute. Gravity is a mining a tool.

This is the final coal face at the time this mine was taken out of production.

An amazing tour. Obviously being cool, damp, dark, and nearly 300ft underground makes an impression on you. Our guide was a young man heading off to College in the fall. He grew up in the area has worked in coal mines previously and his stories invoked a great deal of empathy in me for coal miners.

I can't possibly bring those stories to life on a blog. However, I can recommend a book that does an excellent job of introducing the coal miner and their families. Growing Up in Coal Country by Susan Campbell Bartoletti has fantastic pictures and great narrative. If you are ever at the cottage, grab it off the shelf and curl up on the comfy couch. It is a quick read and very informative.

Lastly, here is a web tour of the Lackawanna Coal mine: http://library.thinkquest.org/05aug/00461/coaltour.htm

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