PATCH TOWN DAYS
Saturday & Sunday -
June 15 & 16
10am - 5pm both days
Eckley had hardly changed since the mid-1800s. The buildings represented a typical "company town" of the Anthracite Mining region of Pennsylvania. It looked the part that was needed for the movie's era and locale, where families really lived.
With an 11 million dollar budget, Paramount was able to restore Eckley, Pennsylvania, including moving the electric wiring underground and pulling off post 1870s features, such as TV antennas.
Paramount constructed a large coal breaker near the middle of the town to provide a background that established the town's mining status. They also constructed a series of mining cars. They are four-wheeled cars with link and pin couplers and hand brakes. Many of these cars still exist, though some of them are badly deteriorated.
An Annual Event
Kent Courtney Live
Kent Courtney will be making personal appearances with performances of historical music on both days of the event. He will be singing a mix of union organizing songs, railroad songs, mining songs and Irish songs.
His stories will include the struggles that lead to the formation of the United Mine Workers - including some interesting facts about the fabrication of events surrounding the Molly Maguires. In his research, he has discovered a connection between the mine owners' persecution of their own workers in Pennsylvania and the mine owners in Colorado. Their tactics - and the pawns of the mine owners - were the same.
You can watch girls washing clothes and see food being cooked over a campfire. There's a policeman, fancy gentlemen, ladies and many mine workers are portrayed. Eckley Miners' Village truly comes to life.
Single and Double Jacking
Small hand drills looked like chisels when driven and hammered by one person - single jacking. Double jacking drills were longer, being used by a two person team. In double jacking one person would hold a bit and twist it as another used a large sledge-like hammer to create the holes for the dynamite. Both of these styles of bits wore out quickly while being hammered into the coal and rock. So, the blacksmiths were constantly busy sharpening bits and creating new ones.
Modeling the Miners' Village
There are many details to be found in this living history village that offer model railroaders a chance to look at an earlier period's lifestyle that can be translated into accurate scenes on a train layout. The Molly Maguires was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Art Direction, so the source for this look has won critical acclaim. It's always good to look for "best examples" when choosing prototype scenery.