Teach PA History
Working Where the Sun Never Shines

1. Write a persuasive letter to the government asking for legislation to improve the working conditions for miners. Students might take the perspective of a union miner, a miner's widow, John Brophy, John Lewis, Joseph Yablonski, William B. Wilson, or Mary Harris "Mother" Jones. This letter should site specific examples of problems faced by miners in the mines and against mining companies. It should also include a list of rights that the miners should be entitled to and suggestions to improve the poor working conditions. 2. Students can read the poem "Memories" by W.B. Wilson: Student Handout 7-Extension Activity [link to Student Handout 7-Extension Activity.doc]. Have students reflect upon the poem. They can critique the quality of the poem, discuss its connection to the problems of a miner learned in class, express their thoughts, and ask questions. Students might even create their own poem based upon the problems/solutions presented in class. 3. Current Events: Have the attempts by unions in the past (mid-eighteenth and nineteenth century) impacted the future of coal mining? Students could study coal mining in the present day looking at changes in mining technology, legislation, safety measures, and recent mining accidents.

Field Trips

Broad Top Area Coal Miners Museum and Entertainment Center PO Box 171 Robertsdale, PA 16674 814-635-2013
Hours: Friday and Saturday, 10 AM to 5 PM Sunday, 1PM to 5 PM Also by Special Appointment Tours Available This museum houses coal mining and railroading exhibits, a research library, and information center, a Coal Miners Memorial and a gift shop.

Coal and Coke Heritage Center Penn State Fayette One University Drive P.O. Box 519 Uniontown, PA 15401 724-430-4158
Hours: 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM and by Appointment The goal of the Coal and Coke Heritage Center is to "capture and preserve the history and heritage of the coal and coke industries, the people who developed and managed them, and the people who worked in the industries and lived their lives within the environment created by those industries." The museum focuses on coal mining in Southwestern Pennsylvania. The center has an extensive collection of artifacts and resources that bring to life the experiences, places, and events of the coal and coke regions. Lectures, workshops, tours, and other educational programs are available.

Seldom Seen Valley Tourist Coal Mine Route 36 Patton, PA 16668 1-814-247-6305
Put on a hard hat and return to the day when coal was king. Experience this unforgettable underground trip.

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