Anthracite Heritage: Landscape, Memory and The Environment
Dr. Paul Shackel published an article in the Summer 2017 Issue of Open Rivers discussing the Anthracite Heritage.
“Place always exists in a particular time, and for Northeastern Pennsylvania that time is anthracite coal time. Because coal mining has decreased significantly over the past 50 years, the result has been a major outmigration of the area’s traditional population. The poverty and unemployment rates are among the highest in the country. However, the legacy of coal still runs deep as reminders of coal heritage are scattered throughout the 484 square miles that make up the anthracite coal region. About 15 percent of these lands have been severely impacted in some way by almost two centuries of mining, and yet much more has been indirectly affected. Scattered rubble and waste are strewn throughout patches of land, reminiscent of a barren, uninhabited moonscape. There are black mounds and hills of coal waste, known as culm banks, some reaching 125 feet high. Water running through abandoned mines are emptying into streams and rivers with very low pH and some water is orange in color, a product of acid mine drainage. While people and institutions remember the masculine history of the machine and human power needed for mining extraction, this memory occurs at the expense of overlooking the exploitation of humans and environment. The anthracite region is in need of the reclamation of memory, landscape, and the environment.”
The full article can be accessed here: http://editions.lib.umn.edu/openrivers/article/anthracite-heritage-lands...