PAontheGo.com Weblog


Featured Location: Eckley Miners Village

The village of Eckley was actually built by a coal company to provide housing for its workers and their families. In the late 1850s, Sharpe, Leisenring and Company built the homes and other buildings, like the company store and church. By owning the homes and other structures used by the miners, the company had great control over their workers.

As the anthracite mining industry declined, the need for a company owned town like Eckley became unnecessary. The land and buildings were sold to a group of Hazleton business men in the late 1960s, and in turn was deeded to the state for historical preservation in 1971.

The breaker that stands on the grounds today is actually a replica, built for the filming of ‘Molly Maguires’, a film about the famous (or infamous) group of miners who may or may not have conspired to commit crimes in order to focus attention on the plight of the American coal worker. Evidence of who the Molly Maguires actually were and what there purpose was still remains a contested subject.

Today, Eckley serves as a window to the past, showing what it was like for the workers of an anthracite coal mine in Pennsylvania. Along with the village, a museum is also on the site, which shows artifacts and other items relating to the lives of Eckley residents and workers.

Special events, such as Patch Town Days and the Civil War Weekend are also held during the summer months. Patch Town Days will be held June 20th and 21st, 2009. PAontheGo.com will be there, along with a number of other exhibitors and food vendors. So mark your calendar, and come out for some fun, food and heritage!

PAontheGo.com is a free resource for all things travel and tourism across Eastern Pennsylvania. Visit us at http://www.PAontheGo.com today for more information.

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When is a City Not a City?

All throughout Eastern Pennsylvania, there are literally thousands of small neighborhoods, villages, hamlets, and municipalities that dot the landscape. Some are marked, some are not… and only the municipalities – the townships, boroughs, and cities – are actually legal designations.

To add to the confusion, names of those municipalities can sometimes be misleading. As an example, Dickson City in Lackawanna County isn’t actually a city. It’s a borough.

Dickson City spans about 4.7 square miles, and is located a few miles north of Scranton. Like many of the small towns in area, Dickson City was a coal town, built on the success of the local anthracite coal mines. With the mining industry long gone, commercial shopping centers, such as the Viewmont Mall, now share the space within the borough with the older Main Street businesses and homes.

Originally known as the village of Dickson, the area was part of Blakely Township. In 1875, the village became its own separate municipality, and the name chosen by the local petitioners was ‘the Borough of Dickson City’.

So, Dickson City isn’t actually a city, but for the people who live, work and visit here, the semantics of it all doesn’t quite matter as much as other issues. But it’s an interesting quirk nonetheless.

 

PAontheGo.com is a free resource for all things travel and tourism across Eastern Pennsylvania. Visit us at http://www.PAontheGo.com today for more information.



The Story of Frances Slocum

Frances Slocum was the daughter of Jonathan and Ruth Slocum of Wilkes-Barre, PA in the Wyoming Valley. She was taken from her families home in broad daylight in front of her mother on Nov 2, 1778 at the age of 5. She was never heard from again. Her two brothers always tried to search for her any time they heard of a white woman living with an Indian tribe, even offered rewards for her return.

More than sixty years had passed before she was found. She was found living on the banks of the Mississenawa River near Peru, Indiana. Then the widow of an Miami Indian Chief.

James Miller of Peru, Ind and Col. Ewing of Logansport, Ind who had interacted with the Miami Indians in the past went and talked with Frances. She being old and knowing she would die soon decided it time to talk about her history.

She remembered she lived on the Susquehanna River as a child, near a fort and told how she was taken by the Delaware Indians. She mentioned her father, a quaker, who wore a broad-brimmed hat with the last name of Slocum. She remembered how other children were taken as well but because they wouldn’t stop crying the Indians killed them. She told them about how she moved around from time to time from Niagara, down around Detroit, then onto Fort Wayne and finally ending up on the banks of the Mississenewa.

After hearing this tale Col. Ewing wanted to make an effort to relay the infomation to her family who he suspected may still be alive. Upon his return to Logansport he wrote down what he had been told and sent it to the Postmaster of Lancaster, PA to be published. The Postmaster thought it to be a prank and tossed it aside. After his death the postmasters wife had found the letter and sent it to the editor in Lancaster who published it in his newspaper. A copy of that paper was read by Joseph Slocum who was living in the Wyoming Valley, Joseph instantly knew this story to be of his sister.

Isaac Slocum, Frances’ other brother, who had moved near Sandusky, Oh traveled to Peru in May of 1838. Upon arriving he sent for Mr. Miller who ran a store there. Mr Miller, leaving two Indian girls to tend the store, went to meet this stranger who had summoned him. Upon arriving at the hotel Mr. Miller recognized the stranger as a brother to Frances due to a very strong family resemblance.

After 60 years Isaac was reunited with his sister. Joseph Slocum also traveled to visit his long lost sister.