Monday, 24 January 2011

Eckley, Pennsylvania

Eckley Miners Village, Pennsylvania

The reverse caption says "A restored mining community consisting of over 50 houses, a church, a company store, a coal breaker, and many artefacts of the era.  The village now maintained by the PA Historical and Museum Commission, was used in the filming of the motion picture The Molly Maguires.

Eckley was an anthracite mine in north east Pennsylvania.  In 1853 a saw mill was constructed to provide lumber for stables, mine and buildings to house the colliery workers who would move into the town. Looking at the photo it seems as though the town is surrounded by forests. Mining began in 1854 and was employment for waves of immigrants, starting with the English, Welsh and Germans in the mid 19th century. At its peak this town would have a population of 1000 but by the end of mining a mere 20. Today most of the properties are privately owned but a number are open to the public. There is a historic walk around the town which must give a feel of what it was like to live and work there in this past times.

My sender says Eckley is on here 'to do' list but there are other living museums of 19th Century life in the USA that are also worth a visit such as logging towns in West Virginia and Tenement museum in New York.  

The card came with, amongst others, a Julia De Burgos stamp

the Puerto Rican poet and independence/civil right activist. She died at the age of 39 on the streets of East Harlem with no ID and was buried in a nameless grave. How sad to die alone and nameless, she now has a named grave and a cultural centre named after her. Sometimes poets predict their life in verse for the beginning lines of her poem 'Intimate' begining 

Life straightened up to watch me past
I began getting lost atom by atom of my flesh
And slipping little by little to the soul  

The blue water in the background of the stamp represents the Rio Grande de Loiza, the theme of her most famous poem, an ode to the river where she was raised.  For that and her history see this page

Thank you Bonnie Jeanne, a fascinating card

1 comment:

Christine H. said...

What an interesting landscape. I might have guessed it to be in Sweden or Norway.