BOSTON STUDENTS GET A
HISTORY LESSON IN COAL CREEK

 A youth group and advisors from St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Boston visited Coal Creek on Saturday, May 26, 2001.  Students living around Revolutionary War sites at Bunker Hill, the Old North Church, and the Old South Meeting Hall visited Coal Creek War sites at Militia Hill, Briceville Stockade, and Thistle Switch.  Students familiar with the writings and deeds of Adams, Hancock, and Revere learned of the writings and deeds of Vowell, Harmon, and Drummond. They also learned about the advances in mine safety in the United States that came after the Fraterville and Cross Mountain mine disasters in Coal Creek.  For comparison, the U.S. and China each produced  about 1.1 billion tons of coal in 2000.  About 7,000 miners died in China in the year 2000, whereas, 38 miners died in the U.S. in the same year.

Boston1.JPG (33319 bytes)Site of the old Odd Fellow Opera House with the old Briceville Methodist Church in the background.

Click on image to enlarge

Boston2.JPG (27011 bytes)Drummond Bridge at the spot where Dick Drummond was lynched during the Coal Creek War.

Boston3.JPG (37070 bytes)Militia Hill at the site of Fort Anderson built during the Coal Creek War.

Boston4.JPG (29070 bytes)Drew Justice from Boy Scout Troop 120 telling the visitors about his Eagle Scout project at the Miner's Circle in Leach Cemetery.

Boston5.JPG (33618 bytes)Andrew reading the farewell message of Jacob Vowell at the common grave with Jacob's son Elbert next to the headstone of his other son, Little Eddy, in Longfield Cemetery.

Boston6.JPG (36031 bytes)Charlotta reading the farewell message of Powell Harmon, written before he perished in the Fraterville Mine Disaster of 1902, at his grave in Longfield Cemetery.

The last line of Powell Harmon's farewell message, "My boys, Henry and Conda, never work in the coal mines" surprised the students when they realized that Conda Harmon, whose headstone is next to that of his father's, died in the Cross Mountain Mine Disaster of 1911.  One of the students asked, "Why would Conda become a coal miner when his own father died in a mine disaster and his father's last words advised against it?"  The answer....back then, if you wanted a job in Coal Creek, you mined coal.  Today, students who get a good education have unlimited options for careers.

The tour was coordinated by St. Francis Episcopal Church in Norris, Tennessee.

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