Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Black Diamonds Go to Market

I have been doing my biennial Dagutis research, looking for anything new I can find about my husband's paternal grandparents and their children. I've run into a lot of brick walls over the years, but new information is always being added to the Internet and I make slow but steady progress.

My husband's aunt, Anna Dagutis, married Joseph Genevich and they had two children: Dorothy and Elgert. Dorothy Genevich and Olin MacDormott, of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, applied for a marriage license in 1957 and that is literally all I know.  I believe Olin's parents were Olin and Vera (Yaple) MacDormott, who were also parents of a daughter, Mildred Hope MacDormott.

Mildred was senior at Coughlin High School in Wilkes-Barre in 1937. The school yearbook, The Breidlin, is a very interesting read and included the following article, which I found fascinating being the coal buff that I am.

Coughlin High School in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania;
photograph courtesy of Coughlin High School

Black Diamonds Go to Market

"Buy, burn, and boost anthracite!" is the slogan of the new Chamber of Commerce campaign to put the local coal industry back on its feet. Mr. Ashton Smith spoke to the school on the need of recovering markets on Friday, October 9.

Mr. Smith explained that 75% of all the business of this valley are dependent on the coal industry. He recalled the days when this region was noted for its wealth, but declared that, during the strikes, consumers had turned to other fuels and since have not returned to anthracite.

Anthracite coal on the way to market; photograph courtesy of
Coughlin High School

The Chamber of Commerce requested Miss Marion Sturdevant, supervisor of English in the city, to have students write letters on the superiority of anthracite as a fuel. This was done, and the letters sent to high school students in New England."

1937 was the height of the Depression, but I still find it interesting that coal was such a part of the fabric of life in northeastern Pennsylvania that high school students were enlisted in economic development projects.

Uncle Joe Was Married Before!

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