After talking about it for a few years, we finally took the Lackawanna Coal Mine Tour today. It's 48° to 52° and breezy 300 feet down there. (Yes, it was 95° outside today with a heat index over 100°; why do you ask? ;-) ) The county puts on a very impressive presentation, and we got quite a solid flavor of what the mine workers had to endure for over a century. One aspect that I hadn't expected was the job descriptions for the boys at various age ranges, starting at just five years old. There was also just the sheer enormity of the mining area, pretty much underlying the entire Wyoming Valley.
Northeast Pennsylvania was known for having the only anthracite (residential heating) coal mining in the country, and that effectively shut down abruptly in 1959 with the local Knox Mine disaster, putting ten thousand men out of work. The event was the result of illegally mining underneath the Susquehanna River with far too little separation, and the river broke through, flooding the mine with an estimated ten billion gallons of water and ice, entombing a dozen men.