By Joshua Oculam
January 22, 2023 - The Underground Miners are working on reopening Brooks Mine at Nay Aug Park in Scranton and shared their progress at the Anthracite Heritage Museum today.
“The project is coming along pretty good," said Chris Murley, founder of the Underground Miners. "We wrapped up the timbering of the mine so the whole mine is timbered and made safe. We finished that up in October. And now we’re onto cleaning up a little more in there and relaying the track inside.”
The Underground Miners are a non-profit group. They shared photos and talked more about their project with the public.
The all-volunteer group started the project last January and the work takes place on the weekends.
He says Brooks is one of the first mines that was only ever for touring since its opening in 1902 but it was closed in the 70's after the Lackawanna mine tours opened.
Banks Ries is a foreman at a coal mine in Schuylkill and is working to make this mine feel authentic as the foreman there as well.
"(Brooks is) another little snippet of what this industry used to be, this was so huge across Northeastern Pennsylvania. It’s why everything is here. And it’s almost all but lost so it’s great to me that there is still just something else to hang on to from the industry," said Ries.
Because the coal industry was so big in Northeastern Pennsylvania that's why they chose Brooks which is close to home.
Murley says they will continue working in February and invite the public to watch them work.
“We’re pretty excited about the public that comes out and whenever we’re working there, how happy everybody is to see us working on it. Just getting the project open again, it’s pretty special," said Murley.
They also talked about a documentary about a local miner who started working in the 1950's that they are working on.
Their talk was a part of Anthracite Mining Heritage Month in Northeast Pennsylvania. Tomorrow, the Anthracite Heritage museum will hold a talk about the Knox Mine disaster on it’s anniversary.