Wednesday, October 25, 2023

The Roadside Coal Miners Memorial, Hegins Pa

 David A. Lucas' Independent Coal Miner Memorial
A roadside shrine located at 
320 east main street [Rt 25] Hegins Pa
David A. Lucas was killed, along with his wife, in an automobile accident in 2019. We visited this memorial in 2020, but as this was on the property owned by Lucas, I cannot guess if it will remain on this spot, or if it is even still there today.

David A. Lucas, posed with his memorial

In an interview with Lucas, by Robb Bomboy, Lucas said he had a statue of a coal miner already, and then he decided to add plaques naming those who had died in the mines, to show respect to the dead.  See the interview here:

(I've started a list of all of those listed on this monument, find it near the end of this post)

Each year Lucas held an Independent Coal Miners Picnic in Hegins.  
See photos of the 25th Annual Picnic, from 2009, here:

A 2004 article in the Washington Post described Lucas' mining operation, and reported that the men  $75 a week from his coal mining endeavors.  In 2004.  

To enter the Lucas mine, the men crawl into a coal buggy, which is lowered into the shaft. Bimmer operates the hoist from giant levers in a shack on top. The same buggy is used to haul out five-ton loads of coal.

David A. spends six or seven days a week in the mine with the Lucases' one employee, their cousin Ernie Lucas, 42.

"Down here there are no problems," Ernie says as he crouches in the gangway. "Down here it's peaceful."

He shoveled a load of coal into a machine called a mucker. It trundled out again. At the other end of the tunnel, David A. loads the buggy and Bimmer hoists it to the surface.
The dank tunnel reeks of danger, but the miners rarely speak of it.
"Fear," says David A., "has no place underground."

In this particular week, the Lucases mined about 75 tons of coal, which they sell to a local processing plant for $35 to $40 a ton. After expenses, they each take home about $75, though the amount varies from week to week.

The Lucases have lost count of times they have been cited for violations of safety, health and other regulations -- citations they claim are often frivolous.

"We're not thieves or bums," Bimmer cries. "We shouldn't be penalized for doing an honest day's work." 

Roy Hoffman 1991

Robert H. "Bobby" Herb 2009

Survivor of the porter tunnel deceased Ronald Atley
Porter Tunnel 1977: Ronald Herb, Donald Shoffler, Dennis Morgan, Gary Klinger, John Moyer, Timothy Grose, Philip Sabatino, Mark "Pat Kroh, Ralph Renninger

Penag Coal Co 1965 Irvin Huntzinger
Kintzel Coal Co 1985 Harvey Kintzel
Reho Caol Co  1985 Earl Romberger, Roger Koons
L.V. Coal Co 1995 Allen Deeter, Shawn Kelly
Harmony Col Co 1994 Vince Lucas
Primrose Coal Co 1995 Charles Fredrick
Ray A. "Checky Lucas died October 31 1982
State Mine Inspector Arthur Hand Deceased
Delbert "Augie" Artz
Larry Poletti
Pete Folletti Deceased
William J. Kroh 2012
Wolfgang Coal Co 1960 Byron "Bryal" Brill
Bush Coal Co 1980 Jesse "Jit" Kiehl
M.S.W. Coal Co. 1985 Gene Wolfgang, Rick Wolfgang, Frank Benner
Ash Coal Co 1985 Robert Kimmel
Woratyla Coal Co 1986 Red Woratyla
Jeff Coal Co 1994 Michael Noss
Reading Anthracite Co 1972 Stanley J. Galonski Sr
Whites Vein Coal Co 1961 Frank Kulp
Mercury Coal Co 1970 Carolos L. Hoffman
Kennel Rothermel Coal Co 1986 Clayton Roy Knorr
C.S.& S. Coal Co. 1980 Earl "Buddy" Bender
S&M Coal Co 1972 James R. Smith
Bob "Sim" Reinoehl 2009

Philip J. "Flick" Stine 2011
Ronals C. "Sunshine Geist" 1979
George "Hute" Garber 2010
Thomas C. "Tom" Saltzman 1976
Richard A. Kroh Jr Deceased 12-3-2001
Randy "Blacky" Wolfgang 2009
Michael "Snoz" Yuslim Deceased 1987
Earl W. Kieffer 2013

Charles (Chat) Morgan deceased 2001
Buck Mt Rock Coal Co George Mengle
Alfred C. Lucas 2011
Albert N. "AP" Shadle 2012
Earl L. "Gov" Bender 2012
Larry Madenford Jr 2010
Ronald C. "Mike" Roseman  2012
James Clough 1937
Harold E. "Butch" Betz 2008

Tuscarora Coal Co 1988 John M. Kuperavage
Signal Frackville Energy Co 1990 Carl Fidler
Arthur F. "Potley" Minnish Deceased 1991
Harlen "Huller" Williard Deceased 1996

S.M.B. Coal Co 1989 Gerald Wetzel
Pine Creek Coal Co 1974 Rudolph R. Geise
Homer "Bumber" Morgan Deceased 1987
Lamar L. "Patcher" Klinger Deceased 1996

Jeddo-Highland Coal Co 1993 James Yachem
Arther E. Lucas Deceased 1972
Donny Sheib Deceased 1998

The Harriman Coal Corp 1995 Joseph Coates

In Memory & Honor of David S. "Stew" Himmelberger, Orchard Coal Co. October 15 2007, "M.S.H.A. Victim"

In memory of Kenny "simmy" Wolfgang 
In honor of Bob "Duffy" Wolfgang
In Memory of Ralph D "Snake" Clock "Rest In Peace" Deceased 7/?/2015

Not yet transcribed

David A. Lucas Obituary, 2019

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