March on Blair Mountain, June 6th through 11th, 2011!

I just wanted to send out the word for an important event happening this June.  Some months ago we blogged about the Blair Mountain project (  In 1921, on Blair Mountain, WV, 10,000 union coal miners fought coal company thugs for, among other things, the right to collectively bargaining. Blair Mountain, like Lattimer, is an important part of American history in so many ways.  Like many labor-related sites, it is a seriously neglected aspect of national and regional history.  Like in Hazleton, there is a big group of locals, many of them related to those that were involved in this event, that really care about it. Here is the project website again:

In the last few years an innovative archaeology project has reexamined aspects of the battle, and is now beginning excavations at the company store.  They are getting lots of great community involvement!

At the moment, Blair Mountain is in danger of being strip mined for coal. It is one of very few remaining  places with links to this kind of labor history left in this country. In early June (6-11th) the Friends of Blair Mountain will commemorate the event by marching along the route, ending with a rally at the mountain. I am hoping to attend! Come March on Blair Mountain this June to protect the history of collective bargaining and coal mining heritage. Learn about the archaeology project that is being done to explore and commemorate this history.  For more info see: Please contact me if you plan to attend, we can talk about Lattimer along the way!

Looking ahead to June: Patch Towns Days weekend

I can’t believe it’s June 01 already! The last few months have flown.  With temperatures here in Maryland approaching 90 most days I am really looking forward to getting up in the cooler mountain air in Pennsylvania for a little bit this month.

I’ll be heading up for Patch Towns Days (Saturday and Sunday, June 19-20, at Eckley Miners’ Village).  Because of trying to visit family in Wilkes-Barre, and see a few things (e.g. the Huber Breaker, where some of my family worked), I’ll likely only make the festival on Sunday.

Anyone else planning on being there Sunday?  Anyone have memories of previous Patch Towns Days, or ideas of things to make sure I (and others) do that weekend?  Leave a note in the comments, below!  I have no idea what to expect – Crafts?  Music?  Demonstrations?  Reenactments?  Food!?!  Looking forward to finding out… .

– Kristin

Inside the Eckley Miners' Village Museum (photo by Kristin Sullivan)