Homes in Dickson City, PA were built atop the coal mines. The coal mining was well below the surface of the earth. Miners were lowered by a hoisting cage to a depth of about 600 feet; the cage held about ten (10) men.

Ascending to the surface of the earth after their day's toil of labor, with black-faces and dust covered clothing, the miners entered the "shifting shanty" that contained hot showers. Individual wire baskets were suspended by a chain to the ceiling and each basket contained the miners clean clothing; they had no personal lockers at this present time. Miners bathed and changed into their clean clothing for the trip home.

As children, there were times we felt the luxury of a hot shower. Mr. Kane the shaft hoisting engineer would allow us kids to use the showers between periods when miners were still at work. What a joy for us kids, to feel the warm hot showers "pepper" our young bodies, we laughed with unrestrained glee in this moment of childhood happiness. Not a single boy in our group had a bath-tub at home, so though, no too frequent, we enjoyed the kindness of Mr. Kane's gift to us kids. These moments have remained in my memory of a long ago in a Pennsylvania coal-mine town.

Main Street Memoir Index Family photograph