By Brian Ardan
Beginning in the latter half of the 19th century, individuals identifying themselves as Poles, Slovaks, Carpatho-Rusyns, Ukrainians, and others began what would eventually become a mass influx of eastern and central Europeans into Pennsylvania’s anthracite coal mining region. These people brought with them languages and customs quite alien to the longer-established groups that had settled the area many years earlier. At times the Slavs clashed with these groups, as well as among themselves. Eventually, however, they wove their way of life indelibly into the multiethnic fabric of the growing region.
The Anthracite Coal Region’s Slavic Community presents a pictorial history of Slavic people in hard coal country, conveying the unique and rich culture brought to the area with the arrival of these diverse communities.