When Italian immigrants fueled the coal mining industry

Dec 12, 2019 262

BY: RITA CIPALLA

A century ago in Black Diamond, Wash., the freight trains arrived empty twice a day and twice a day they left, loaded with coal. Railroad assistant Amos Ungherini would go down the line each day in a hand-pumped “speeder” to weigh the cars. Back then, the railroad was more than just a way to get coal to market. It was the lifeblood of the town.

Ungherini and others of Italian descent worked hard in and around the coal mines of Washington. And unfortunately, some paid the ultimate price. On April 26, 1907, a methane gas explosion in a coal mine outside Black Diamond took the lives of seven men. 

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SOURCE: https://italoamericano.org

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