Wednesday, July 31, 2013
No. 9 Mine & Museum Lansford, Pennsylvania
Located in the heart of Anthracite coal country, lies a unique glimpse into a once operational coal mine. A job that requires a tough individual who's unafraid to get dirty, hurt, maimed, and even possibly killed. Coal mining is one of the most dangerous professions in the United States, and here's a chance to see life just like they did.
Ducking our heads we climb aboard a rickety mine car. Steel mesh surrounded the carriage to protect our heads and hands. Slowly we disengaged and went down the bumpy tracks and descended into one of America's oldest deep coal mines. As we approached the darkness, flickering lights shine our way down the tracks. The passing flashes have a haunting effect on you.
The guide slowly maneuvers the group down the wobbly railroad going deeper into the Earth. After coming to a halt we all feel a little more relieved knowing we survived the ride down. But here's where the true dangers lurk.
We exit the mining cars and it loudly races back up the tracks leaving us alone with our guide. We are trapped several hundred feet underground. We make our way through the mine which had been in operation from 1855 to 1972. Along the tour we learn of the dangers associated with mining as well as the history. A few stops are made on the trip. First you get a chance to admire an old mining elevator. Trust me you wouldn't wanna ride this. As well as an original mining car. And even a glimpse down a few hundred feet where another mining tunnel is located.
The group learned along the way about how mules and children played key roles in the early days of mining. Our guide even gave us a glimpse into the mining world without modern technology. It wasn't easy to see. The hazards of this profession are clearly pointed out to all as well, there's even a hospital located inside the mine.
Staying roughly 55 degrees year round it's a great place to visit in the Summer. Just as long as they don't try and put you to work.