Lorena Beniquez, a writer, photographer, and filmmaker, and the author of a new book, Lost Coal Country of Northeastern Pennsylvania.
Published by Arcadia, the book is part of the Images of Modern America series, so it’s part history, part photographic art, and part travel guide. Lorena visits many places in her book, including the site of the last coal breaker in America, scheduled for demolition soon. She also visits the spooky village of Centralia, abandoned 50 years ago when the coal beneath caught fire. The fire continues and will burn for hundreds of years. Lorena writes about John Stella, an unsung hero who saved dozens of miners during the Knox Mine Disaster.
Through shared stories, interviews, and research, Lorena captures the history of the anthracite region. She’s the great-granddaughter of a coal miner, she’s discovered her own family’s story. Perhaps it will inspire you to learn your own family’s story and how it IS America’s history.
From Lorena’s AMAZON page:
Lost Coal Country of Northeastern Pennsylvania documents the region’s disappearing anthracite history, which shaped the legacy of the United States of America and the industrial revolution. The coal mines, breakers, coal miners’ homes, and railroads have all steadily disappeared. With only one coal breaker left in the entire state, it was time to record what would soon be lost. Unfortunately, one piece of history that persists is underground fires that ravage communities like Centralia. Blazing for over 50 years, the flames of Centralia will not be doused anytime soon. Images featured in the book include the St. Nicholas coal breaker, Huber coal breaker, Steamtown National Historic Site, Lackawanna Coal Mine Tour, Eckley Miners’ Village, Centralia, and the Knox Mine disaster. A hybrid history book and travel guide, Lost Coal Country of Northeastern Pennsylvania is one final recounting of what is gone and what still remains.