By Carolyn Blackburne
September 6, 2017 - The families of coal miners in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania are honoring their past and looking towards their future with a new historic marker for the Huber Breaker.
People at Miner’s Memorial Park in Ashley are remembering what used to be.
The Huber Breaker was one of the last and largest anthracite coal breakers in northeastern Pennsylvania. It has been demolished for years, but its impact can still be felt.
“It's an important part of our history and I'd hate to see it forgotten because these men worked so hard for the life that we enjoy today,” Board Chairman of the Huber Breaker Preservations Society Ray Clarke said.
Organizers said this new historic marker was years in the making, and now it will remind people of their families’ sacrifices for years to come.
“My uncles worked in the mines. My father worked in the mines. My grandfather worked in the mines. Everybody is all dead now though. My grandpa died from asthma. My father died from asthma, and my two uncles were spared. They died from different things,” Fred Yuhas said.
Yuhas attended the ceremony and brought some of the savings his family made in the mine. He said they were paid one silver dollar every pay period.
“I'm proud of the memory of these guys, you know? They worked real, real, hard for the little bit of money they got,” Yuhas said.
People said it was especially fitting to dedicate the marker at the Huber Breaker site on Labor Day, when Americans have time to reflect on improvements made in the workplace.
“There was an old saying in the mine, where a boy would reach 10 years of age and if he had all 10 of his fingers, he was lucky. So that tells you how far we've come as a country in the work field,” Patchtown Players Reenactor Vincent Kundrik said.
Honoring their hard working past with pride, and looking towards their future with positivity.