Ukrainian Immigration to the Anthracite Coal Region of NE Pennsylvania
Scranton, PA – Steamtown National Historic Site, downtown Scranton, will partner with the Pennsylvania Humanities Council to host Commonwealth Speaker Paula A. Holoviak, Ph.D. Dr. Holoviak will present “Ukrainian Immigration to the Anthracite Coal Region of Northeastern Pennsylvania” at the Steamtown Theater on Saturday, March 8 at 1:00 p.m. The presentation is included in the Park’s regular Entrance Fee.
Dr. Holoviak is an Associate Professor in the State System of Higher Education at KutztownUniversity where she specializes in local community and economic development. She has done extensive research projects for the Center for Rural Pennsylvania on the topic of civic engagement and revitalization of our rural communities. In addition to her profession, she is a founding member of the KAZKA Ukrainian Folk ensemble which is dedicated to the preservation and performance of traditional Ukrainian song and dance. She has spent twenty years researching and performing the culture of the Lemko, Rusyn and Carpathian immigrants to Pennsylvania from what is present-day Western Ukraine. She is currently the program coordinator for the Kutztown University Ukraine Exchange Program with the PreCarpathianUniversity in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine.
Dr. Holoviak’s presentation will consist of a lecture format accompanied by historical maps and pictures in a power point format. The lecture will focus upon Ukrainian immigration to the anthracite coal regions in the late 19th and early 20th century and the impact of this migration upon the history, culture and economy of Pennsylvania.
The reasons for this first major wave of Ukrainian immigration will be explored as well as the life and cultural legacy of the early immigrants adjusting to life in the anthracite mine fields. The program will conclude with the performance of Ukrainian folk songs by the KAZKA Ukrainian Folk Ensemble quartet in traditional folk costume. These songs are typical of the songs sung by these early immigrants. The lecture and performance will include a visual piece (a small one-panel exhibit) with maps and photos that can be further examined by the audience after the presentation.
This presentation is a program of the Pennsylvania Humanities Council, sponsored in part by a grant from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. The PHC inspires people to come together to share a life of learning. Since 1973 the PHC has provided resources that empower local groups to help their communities explore history, literature, the arts, and the ideas that shape the human experience.
Located in downtown Scranton, Pennsylvania, Steamtown National Historic Site is open 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. thru March 29, 2008; regular Park hours, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., resume on March 30. From Interstate 81, follow exit 185 (Central Scranton Expressway); follow signs to the main entrance at Lackawanna Avenue and Cliff Street. Additional details regarding interpretive and educational programs and activities, and weather related cancellations, may be obtained by calling (570) 340-5200, toll free (888) 693-9391, or by visiting the Steamtown NHS website at www.nps.gov/stea.
- Editor’s Note: Digital images for media use are available upon request -
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Did You Know?
Many railroads, particularly Eastern roads, used anthracite coal for locomotive fuel during the early steam era. During World War I, the US Navy and the Allied Forces used anthracite coal to power the steam boilers of warships such as Admiral Dewey's USS Olympia, which is berthed at the Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia. Burning anthracite resulted in low-smoke emissions from steamship boilers and gave the Allies a strategic opportunity to close-in on the enemy in a battle. With anthracite coal diverted to the war effort, locomotive builders adapted to using bituminous coal in their future designs.