Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Aaron looks at the bell donated by citizens of a small town in Italy, where many of the dead miners were from.

I've mentioned Monongah several times on this blog. This small town is located in Marion County, West Virginia, and in 1907 it suffered the

worst mine explosion in West Virginia's history--probably the worst in US history.
372 were confirmed dead (the sign says 361, so take your pick),
although most historians agree that the total was actually more like 500 because many young children worked in the mine and they weren't listed as employees. There were very likely other undocumented workers as well because the mines were worked by a large immigrant population, and some may not have actually been listed on the payroll.

To visit Monongah today, you would see little sign of the disaster. The community is making a comeback from the days when mining was in a slump. But if you go off the main street, and down to the place where this statue is,

The Monongah Heroine, dedicated to the wives and mothers of the lost miners.

you get a glimpse of what Monongah may have looked like in 1907.

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