Freeland, Pennsylvania: Restored Miners' VillageA deserted town surrounded by coal piles, with a fake gallows. Part has been restored as a museum and tourist attraction.
Eckley Miner's Village and Coal Museum
- Hwy 2051, Freeland, PA
- Eckley Miner's Village and Coal Museum. South of Freeland on Hwy 2051.
Visitor Tips and News About Restored Miners' Village
On September 8th, 2004, our local news station did a story about the Eckley Mining Village. Seems the Pennsylvania Historical Commission was thinking about using the village as low-income housing. Created quite a stir. Luckily, the Commission has decided to scrap the idea and is now planning a big maintenance project.[Tracy Jones, 08/01/2005]
In October 2004 an oak gallows was built in the yard of Schuylkill Prison, and was used in the documentary "The Blue-Eyed Six" about a family of 19th century robber-murderers. The inmates, naturally, were not happy about having gallows in their exercise yard, and the prison searched for someone to take it.... [05/13/2005] Complete News Story
Eckley is a historic village on the outskirts of Hazleton. This mining town was built around 1854 and represents many of the patch towns built during the Anthracite region's heyday. The village was a planned community built by a mining company to provide housing, retail, schools and churches for the miners and their families, thus the mining company held great control over the miners' lives.
Once strip mining replace underground mining in the late 1800's, the population of Eckley, which was once 1,000, declined to almost nothing.
Today about 19 people live in the village. You can see about 30 building, mostly houses, mostly uninhabited. In the backdrop is a movie prop, a coal breaker, from the movie The Molly Maguires. That prop stands where one of the 3 original coal breakers for the town stood.
You can visit Eckley anytime and be spooked just by walking down the middle of this deserted town engulfed by coal banks. There is Visitors' Center with orientation video and exhibits as well as a Company Store (only open during the summer). In June, they celebrate Patch Town Days.[Jennifer Wayne, 08/17/2003]
This town was refurbished for the 1970 movie The Molly Maguires, starring Sean Connery. Now it's an attraction... no mine tour, just crafts demos and gift shops. Try the Coal Candy.