September 18, 2022 - The Aug. 30 meeting of the Coalport Museum Commission in Pennsylvania began with an presentation on longwall mining by former coal miner Mike Delfosse.
Delfosse illustrated his talk with a schematic drawing of how the tunnel and wall drilling would occur, coal removal and ventilation.
This was the first of a “speaker series” that the commission has planned as one part of the “Visit Clearfield County grant” awarded to the commission in January 2022.
Another grant item was the creation and publication of 1,000 coal museum brochures. After hearing from commission officers about the various places where the bulk of these publications have been distributed in and out of Clearfield County — and learning that more were needed — the board voted to have another 2,000 brochures printed soon in order to further inform potential visitors about the coal museum.
A third major use of the VCC grant funding is for publishing newsletter to mail and place in sites around the area to draw interest for potential coal museum patrons.
Board member Bill Morrison printed a sample newsletter and asked everyone to suggest edits and additions of this initial draft until it is ready for final publication.
This newsletter, along with grant-purchased postcards and notecards — both of which will also be printed and mailed to increase interest in what’s new at the museum in the way of events, acquisitions or services.
The commission members learned that the Coalport Area Coal Museum was selected the 2021 “Historical Society of the Year” by the Visit Clearfield County organization as part of its Partner Award Program.
The board unanimously voted in Lynda Kruise Helsel to replace the late Richard Keith as a board director of the Coalport Museum Commission. Helsel, who has a bachelor’s degree in history, has served as a volunteer for the past few years.
The board thanked John Kucharcik and Bob Counsman for the new display depicting the operation of an original post drill.
It also discovered that new directional signs have been purchased and have been installed on Main Street to help visitors find the museum. President Counsman is in the process of acquiring permission to place a larger sign near the intersection of Route 53 and Railroad Street.
The new donation acquisitions include samples of a miner’s tin food utensils and an original pump fire extinguisher.
Curator Richard W. Snyder II emailed historic photos of coal mining and/or timber logging to The Progress for an exhibit at the Clearfield County Fair.
The next meeting of the Coalport Area Museum Commission is scheduled for 7 p.m.. Tuesday, Oct. 25, at the Coalport Center for Active Living on Forest Street.
There is a second planned speaker to give a talk on coal mining. Everyone who has an interest in the hand-loading days of bituminous coal mining or researching local family history is invited to attend.