Photo Album: Cummings Coalminers
By Brendán Cummings, Contributor
October / November 2004
1890: Jackson’s Patch, Pennsylvania.
In this picture, Patrick Cummings of Loan in Clogh parish near Castlecomer in County Kilkenny sits with his wife Margaret Crennan, also of Loan, on the front porch of their house in Jackson’s Patch surrounded by their sons. Areas of settlement near the mining shafts were called ‘patches’ and Jackson’s was near the Maple Hill Mine, not far from Mahanoy City in the coalmining region of Pennsylvania. The photo was taken in 1890, not long after the labor unrest and violence of the Molly Maguire period had begun to subside.
The four sons behind are, from left to right: Lawrence, William, John, and Phillip. John, a member of the Pioneer Temperance Corp., was later killed in a mining accident by the fall of top rock. Lawrence and William worked the mines as well, but Phillip became a tailor. Their home was used to celebrate Mass prior to the completion of St. Canicus in Mahanoy City, which was named after the Irish saint from Kilkenny (Cill Canice).
Patrick came to Pennsylvania with his wife in 1860, following his brother and sister, Phillip and Brigid, who emigrated in 1854. Phillip moved to Richmond Furnace in Massachusetts and became a farmer. Phillip is my great-great-great-grandfather. ♦