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Veterans and laborers remembered at Miner's Picnic

  • UFCW Local 1776 Director Michele Kessler read excerpts from the "Autobiography of Mother Jones" who was an early labor-activist in the late 1800s, while listening to her are (left to right) : Carbon County Commissioner William O'Gurek; Michael…
    UFCW Local 1776 Director Michele Kessler read excerpts from the "Autobiography of Mother Jones" who was an early labor-activist in the late 1800s, while listening to her are (left to right) : Carbon County Commissioner William O'Gurek; Michael Schirra, Carpenter's Local 600 (retired); President of the No.9 Mine Museum, Dave Kuchta; and President of the Carbon County Labor Chapter, Terry Whiteman.
Published September 07. 2011 05:01PM

The No. 9 Mine and Museum celebrated the past holiday weekend with it's annual Labor Day - Old Fashioned Miner's Picnic held at the Mine and Museum site in Lansford on Sunday.

In addition to tours of both the No. 9 Mine itself as well as the Museum, the picnic offered festival goers a wide selection of delicious homemade ethnic foods including halupki, halushki, and perogies as well as hot dogs, barbecue, and homemade cakes and pies.

Other activities included music from a local disc jockey, live Blacksmithing demonstrations all day long, and Civil War reenactors.

The reenactors represented members of the 1st Maryland Battalion, Companies A&B, CSA, Army of Northern Virginia.

With 2011 marking the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, the reenactors set up their encampment on the museum grounds so that visitors could learn what life was like for the soldiers during the battles.

At 10 a.m. the Carbon County Labor Chapter conducted a ceremony and laid a memorial wreath at the Miner's Monument on the grounds of the No. 9 Mine to honor coal miners and all American laborers.

Speaking on behalf of the Labor Chapter near the highly polished black marble monument surrounded by commemorative bricks bearing the engraved names of miners, was its President Terry Whiteman.

Additional speakers at the wreath laying ceremony included Carbon County Commissioner William O'Gurek, Michael Schirra, Carpenter's Local 600 (retired), and UFCW Local 1776 Director Michele Kessler.

Kessler read relevant excerpts from the "Autobiography of Mother Jones" who was an early American labor-activist in the late 1800s.

Later in the day, in a ceremony intended to honor veterans, the USS Carbon County Navy Club of the United States, Ship 260 conducted a flag-folding ceremony and explained what every one of the 13 folds represents. The presentation, which was coordinated by Navy Club Chaplain and Historian Robert "Ski" Siesputowski, also displayed and explained some of the different flags of American history.

The Civil War reenactors participated in both parts of the flag program and also fired off volleys in salute with their Civil War era rifles.

Opened in 1855, the No. 9 coal Mine is the world's oldest continually operated Anthracite coal mine and visitors to it can ride a train 1,600 feet into the mountainside to see first hand what coal miners went through to earn a living years ago.

In addition to touring the mine, visitors also toured the Mining Museum to view, among other things, many photographs of life in the coal mines in days gone by as well as some of the actual tools and equipment used inside of them.

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