Tag Archives: coal mining

Joe Ozanic’s AFL challenges John Lewis’ CIO

In this excerpt from interviews of coal miner Joseph Ozanic, Sr. (1895-1978), Ozanic discusses the conflict between the Progressive Miners of America (of which he was president) and John L. Lewis’ United Mine Workers of America. Interviews conducted by Rex Rhodes, 1972; Barbara Herndon and Nick Cherniavsky, 1974, and now in the collection of Norris […]

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Picnic in a coal mine

Sometimes the official stories that make it into museum collections just don’t shed enough light on the complete context of an event. Take this photo, titled “Picnic in a Coal Mine, Mount Savage, 1889, 
Photographed by Edgar S. Thompson.” The caption provided by the Maryland Historical Society gives scant background on this picture, and in […]

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Ohio’s Little Cities of Black Diamonds

“In 1996, on my last visit to San Toy, Ohio, I had to stop and ask directions twice. Driving down a long, unpaved road to the bottom of a deep, wooded valley, I came to a crossroads with a signless post marking the intersection. This was the San Toy of my seeking. My very own […]

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Book Excerpt: ‘Faces Behind the Dust’

She got very excited then, and said “CHILD, Cecil had AnnaBelle in a bear hug behind da stove, gitting it ON!”

Thea-Thea said, “Oh Lawd!”

Aunt Cellie flopped down in a kitchen chair and said disgustedly, “He gotta have a burn on his ass, cause he fell back on da stovepipe, as he bent over to pull up his pants!” Thea-Thea covered her mouth and groaned as Aunt Cellie continued.

“AnnaBelle was hysterical. I was apologizing dat I hadn’t knocked ‘stead of busting in,” Aunt Cellie screeched. “But then I got mad—I mean I was ticked! The of ‘em standing there looking like they had done been caught wit they hand in da cookie jar.

“I started in on Cecil. ‘YOU!’ I screamed.

“He ran like a scaled dog. AnnaBelle was standing there trembling…like a wilted flower, begging and pleading for me not to tell, saying she needed to buy some food, and Cecil was her undercover sugar daddy, and he was da way dat she had extra money to buy groceries.

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The Sandlick Sportsman’s Club

When we think of coal company towns, often the first things that come to mind are the company store and company built houses. The Sandlick Sportsman’s Club in McDowell County, WV shows a different facet of the company town. Constructed in 1938, the building served as a recreational retreat for company employees of U.S. Coal […]

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