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    Learning the history of coal mines in Lackawanna County

    By Gianna Galli,


    SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The recent concern about the mine subsidence in Luzerne County has created some curiosity about our region’s coal mining history.

    During a private tour, 28/22 News was on at Lackawanna coal mine, a mine foreman broke down the way mine subsidence has been making its way to the surface.

    Others who were also on a tour themselves say the subsidence has sparked their interest in the rich history of coal mining in our area.

    300 feet underground, rust-colored water covers the ground of the Lackawanna Coal Mine tour on Friday.

    A similar scene to the orange-tinted water that’s been appearing in several spots above ground in Luzerne County recently.

    “Small version of that happening at Toby Creek and other places,” said Kitty Lawas from Shavertown.

    New details on mine subsidence in Luzerne County

    “You figure in this area it’s been since the 50s and 60s since they’ve even had anybody working and a lot of that timber is starting to work its way out and making its way to the surface,” explained Bill Neidlinger a mine foreman.

    Bill Neidlinger took 28/22 New on a private tour and shared his expertise after working underground for 17 years on how a mine subsidence forms.

    He says inspections take place every morning making sure timbers, ventilation and the pillars are good.

    The recent subsidence has sparked interest for some in wanting to learn more about the methods of deep mining.

    Like warning calls to let the miners know it’s time to get the coal out and how to check for methane and carbon monoxide buildup.

    “It sparked it for us. The subsidences whether it’s in Swoyersville or Luzerne no matter the depth of the holes it’s still fascinating that there are still mines throughout the whole valley,” stated Glen Bartolomei from Shavertown.

    thousands and thousands of mines all underneath us and some that are still active.

    Neidlinger lives in Schuylkill county where there are currently eight active mines.

    “It’s what they have done for years and it’s what they are going to continue to do. They are family-run operations that they are trying to make a living as best they can,” added Neidlinger.

    “I was kind of surprised to hear that they are still mining,” says Bartolomei.

    It’s a mine of knowledge and the subsidence, Kitty Lawas feels makes for a great research opportunity for people to take a deeper dive into the industrial revolution of NEPA.

    “Well, I do research now and I’m always curious about something and maybe there’s something down there that we don’t know about. There’s a lot of knowledge down there,” continued Lawas.

    The Lackawanna Coal Mining Tour began its tours for the season earlier this month. If you would like to know the hours of operation and are interested in learning more about the history of coal mining in our area visit their website

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