Growing up in Pennsylvania, I’ve always been fascinated with the state’s coal mining heritage. I’ve taken the Lackawanna Coal Mine and the museum several times. Yet, I had never visited Eckley Miner’s Village, even though I drove past the signs every week on my way to my brother’s house.
After looking it up online and saying I would go for about a year, I finally made it happen this month. Since the village is so close to my brother’s home, I took my niece and nephew along. Our first stop in the village was the visitor’s center where we purchased our tickets for the museum and walking tour.
Originally, I hadn’t planned on taking the guided walking tour due to its length and my niece’s age, seven. I thought that it might be too long for her but when I told her it was an hour and half of listening to our guide speak, she assured me that she would not get bored.
While her attention did wonder a bit, I’m still glad we took the guided tour. Most of the information plaques are inside the museum and inside the buildings, so we would only have gotten half the information with a self-guided tour.
We had a good time in the small museum that included a short movie about the village’s history, which began in the 1850’s. The museum housed artifacts from the miners and their family’s daily lives, clothes, mining gear, toys, and several items grouped together to create a small replica store
After finishing the museum, we still had some time before the tour, so we visited the gift shop, the former church rectory. The lady working there was extremely nice and informative about the buildings history and some the former residents.
Then, we wondered around the village until it was time to meet our group at the visitor’s center. We had a good sized group that included three other kids. Our guide was very informative about not just the history but of personal experiences working in a coal mine.
As we walked down the long street through the village, our guide let us into the Catholic Church, two houses, the Episcopal Church, and the doctor’s office. The churches were beautiful and the office and homes were excellent examples of how people lived back in the mining days.
|Inside the Catholic Church|
|The Doctors' Office|
It was a wonderful visit, though a bit long for young kids. It was also very hot, so next time I may go in the fall, but there most definitely will be a next time.