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 Post subject: Huber Breaker memorial site readies for business
PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 5:29 am 
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Location: Anthracite Region of PA
Huber Breaker memorial site readies for business


By Paul Golias (Citizens' Voice Correspondent)

Published: July 26, 2012

Water and electrical lines are being run into the Huber Breaker Preservation Society memorial site in Ashley even as the society struggles to find a benefactor for the proposed anthracite living history park.

A contractor will complete work this week on the 3.1-acre site in front of the historic breaker. The $3,000 project was made possible by a grant from the Future Farmers of America through the Wilkes-Barre Area Career and Technical Center.

Ray Clarke of Ashley, chairman of the preservation society board, said an access driveway and a driveway gate also will be installed.

The driveway was covered by the FFA grant, he said, and $1,000 from the Eastern Pennsylvania Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation financed the driveway gate and a pedestrian gate installed last year.

Cornerstone of the project is a proposed granite memorial to all who worked in the anthracite industry. The park would include a walking trail, kiosks explaining anthracite history and the use of various Huber Colliery structures. The breaker still stands to the west of the site that was donated to the preservation society in 2004 by Earth Conservancy. The latter group works to reclaim and restore mine-scared land for use.

Clarke said the monument, which will cost about $11,000, will include a black polished etching of the historic breaker. Columns supporting a top piece of granite will be engraved to honor all who worked in the Northern Anthracite fields, he said.

Flowerbeds, benches and trees will line the walkway and enhance the knoll on which the memorial will be located, Clarke said. The new water line will allow watering of the flowers. The electricity is needed for security lights and proposed spotlights at the monument.

Clarke said the society needs an individual or a group to step forward to help make the project happen. Overall cost is pegged at about $125,000 and only half of the $11,000 for the monument has been raised.

If no one person or group comes forward, Clarke said, the project will need hundreds of donors.

"This is important to many generations. With the breaker preservation in limbo, our best chance at honoring those who worked in the mining industry is construction of this park and memorial," Clarke said.

Naming rights are available, he said.

Efforts by the Huber Breaker Preservation Society to acquire the breaker and to stimulate state and federal grants for its restoration have been unsuccessful.

The breaker and 26 acres of land west of the smaller preservation society plot are owned by No. 1 Contracting Co., which filed for bankruptcy on March 5, 2010. Creditors are due to meet Sept. 7 and they and No. 1 Contracting have stipulated in Bankruptcy Court that sale of assets should be done quickly.

The preservation society will hold its annual chicken barbecue Sunday, Aug. 12, at the Ashley Firemen's grounds, Ashley Street, and a Christmas fundraiser also is being planned. Clarke said proceeds have helped pay for insurance on the 3.1 acres and the society now will have water and electrical bills.

Donations can be made to the Huber Breaker Preservation Society, St. Nicholas Federal Credit Union, P.O. Box 1213, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18703, or The Luzerne Foundation, 140 Main St., Luzerne, PA 18709. For more information, contact Clarke at 570-824-3176.

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Scott K
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