Whiskey Run: Where Coal Dust Mixed with Murder

In an overgrown valley about 12 miles west of Indiana and one mile from West Lebanon lies the site of a mysterious R&P (Rochester and Pittsburgh) coal town known as Whiskey Run. For over fifty years, the community of Whiskey Run has been synonymous with violence, secrecy and unsolved murder. Even the source of the town’s name is uncertain, with several versions vying for authenticity....
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Ernest: Life in a Mining Town

In 1904, the Rochester & Pittsburgh Coal Company began deep mining in Ernest, Pennsylvania. In 1965, the industry there came to an end. Between these two dates, people lived out their lives in this small community northwest of Indiana, where for over sixty years every facet of existence revolved around the digging of coal from the hillsides surrounding the town. But what was life like in a...
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That Magnificent Fight for Unionism: The Somerset County Strike of 1922

During 1920 and 1921, western Pennsylvania’s coal mine operators campaigned vigorously to slash wages of the miners they employed. Because demand for coal declined after World War One the operators were forced to reduce production, resulting in stack, or in some cases, the complete shutdown of operations. Many miners drifted to factory jobs in nearby cities, or simply clung to hope -and...
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