Sunday, June 22, 2008

Always in a Hole: Life in a Pennsylvania Coal Town During the Great Depression and World War II

Always in a hole : life in a Pennsylvania coal town during the Great Depression and World War II
Arthur Vincent Ciervo
Book; English
Camp Hill, PA : Plank's Suburban Press, 1996.
Related Subjects:
Coal mines and mining -- Pennsylvania. Richeyville (Pa.) -- History.

This was a very interesting book about life in Richeyville, a Pennsylvania Coal town during the Great Depression and World War I. Several people mentioned in the book are buried in Beallsville Cemetery. The author's father was a miner. the book dedication reads " this book is dedicated to my parents, Carmine (Tony) and Beatrice (Bessie) Ciervo, and all other coal miners and their wives who endured too many hardships and heartaches".

I never realized that during this time period miners could work for days and not get paid. They worked days getting to the veins of coal, shoring up the tunnels, clearing away rock. They weren't paid for this work. They were only paid for the amount of coal that they brought out of the mine. The books tells of the hardships that the families in the coal towns faced,the bad working conditions, the sicknesses that sometimes ran through the many families and took many lives, the mining accidents, the efforts the families went through in an effort to support the war effort. This included, food rationing, scrap metal drives, as well as the ultimate sacrifice in terms of sending young men off to the service and not having all of them return alive.

The book has wonderful old photos of people and places and gives an insider's look at what coal mining used to be like.

If you can find it, I would recommend this as an entertaining and enlightening read.

Some of the libraries that are listed as having copies of the book are as follows:

Showing libraries that own: Any Edition
Reeves Library
Greensburg, PA 15601 United States

California University of Pennsylvania
California, PA 15419 United States

Allen County Public Library
Ft Wayne, IN 46801 United States

New York Public Library - Research
New York, NY 10018 United States
318 miles

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