|Miners at Packer No.1 in the 1930s|
Considering the dangers of living and working in the Coal Region during the late 1800s and early 1900s, it's amazing that anyone ever lived past the age of 20. In the "good old days", death seemed to lurk around every corner. A man could survive a mine cave-in, only to be trampled by a spooked horse while crossing the street, stabbed in a drunken bar-room brawl, or stricken with cholera. No matter how lousy your job may be, it's pretty safe to say that you won't end up like John Dorrish. From the Oct. 22, 1912 edition of the Reading Eagle:
John Dorrish, 50 years, employed at Packer No. 5 colliery*, was caught in a dynamite explosion and had both eyes blown out, his head badly injured, and both hands so badly mangled that they will have to be amputated. His condition is critical.
*Colliery was located about one mile east of Girardville.