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 Post subject: Avondale Mining Disaster Recalled
PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 3:45 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 7:16 pm
Posts: 479
Location: Anthracite Region of PA
Bill Hastie, with passion in his eyes, led a group through Washburn Street Cemetery in West Scranton Saturday morning.

The 92-year-old stopped at an older tombstone, one with writing barely visible. A father and son were laid to rest beneath it, he said. He read the words, written in Welsh, aloud and then translated them for onlookers present.

Many of those who perished in the Avondale mining disaster in 1869 were buried together, others in family plots. Sixty-one of the 110 who lost their lives that day are buried at the Washburn Street Cemetery. As most of their family are no longer living, community members chose to come together to remember the lives lost. The 142-year anniversary of the tragedy was Saturday.

The Avondale mining disaster took place on Sept. 6, 1869, when a fire broke out in the main shaft at the Avondale Colliery in Plymouth Township.

Linda Scott, event organizer, said the remembrance was held for a dual function this year - to remember the lives lost and raise awareness about the poor condition of the cemetery, which she said is "deplorable."

"We always want their memory and their sacrifice for what they did never to be forgotten," Scott said. "It is important that people remember the disaster for the men and boys who gave their lives that day."

mdavis@timesshamrock.com

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