AUTHOR: Linda A. Goodlin
When Joseph Millward loses his job in Wales, he decides to join his brother in America. Joseph and his wife, Anna, make the long journey “from across the pond” to begin a new life in the coal patch town of Rocktown, Pennsylvania where Polish, German, Slovak, Irish, Italian, and Welch immigrants assert their indomitable spirit. A mine explosion has dubious consequences; is it an accident or murder?
When the coal miners in Central Pennsylvania decide in 1891 to strike for better working conditions, many families lose their jobs and their company-owned housing. James Millward goes to work with his father, to supplement the family income, when he is only nine years old. Life is hard in the coal patch towns, and many die from disease and disaster. This story reflects the immigrants of the coal era in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio.