This monument is dedicated to the thousands of anthracite coal miners whose labor under inhuman working conditions served as an inspiration to people of the United States and to the world. The heroic contribution of the miners is unparalleled in the history of our nation.
Historians cite the beginning of the American Industrial Revolution during the 1840s in the Scranton, Pennsylvania area. It was discovered that anthracite coal was superior for heating factories and running machinery. A number of small factories producing various products sprouted throughout the coal region. Coal and iron were used to manufacture iron rails which started the booming railroad industry.
Coal was the power that fueled the American Industrial Revolution, the massive power that contributed greatly to victory in the Civil War, and two World Wars leading to the United States' becoming the most powerful nation on earth.
The prosperity and growth of our nation was accomplished at at terrible price. For over 100 years, the underpaid, overworked miners toiled under horrific conditions. Mining was a filthy, exhausting, and life-threatening occupation. Over 50,000 miners were killed while hundreds of thousands suffered from black lung disease and many other serious ailments.
Our nation and its people owe a debt of gratitude to the anthracite
coal miners whose sacrifice enriched the lives of everyone.
—Benefactor, Andrew "Hank" Evanish
Dedication, Sept. 2001
—Sculptor, Franc Talarico