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Pennsylvania: Miners Museum Adding Modern Equipment



September 15, 2023 - A focus on the exhibition of heavier mining equipment once used on the Broad Top Coal Field remains an ongoing project of the Broad Top Area Coal Miners Historical Society in Pennsylvania.

Meeting recently in the Robertsdale-based Coal Miners Museum, the society’s board of directors announced that they are in search of modern-day mining equipment to be placed on exhibit outside the front of the museum (former Reality Theatre).

Thanks to assistance from Wood Township Supervisor Tom Love and several members of the historical society, several pieces of large mining equipment has been relocated from the back of the building to a concrete area in front of the museum.


Members of the Broad Top Area Coal Miners Historical Society, assisted by Wood Township Supervisor Tom Love, relocated a large church bell to the Robertsdale-based Coal Miners Museum last week. From the left, standing are: Tom Love, Dennis Fields (partially hidden), Gary Kuklo Sr., Bob Watkins and Earl Carroll.

Photos by Ron Morgan


The relocation has several purposes: to make the mining equipment more visible and as a means of attracting more visitors because of the strategically located equipment near the intersection of Route 913 and East Main Street. Numerous motorists, including Raystown Lake traffic, pass the museum every day, it was pointed out.

Also moved to the front of the building were an original Broad Top area coal car used in the local deep mines and a “mechanical miner,” a piece of equipment used in the mines to loosen (cut away) the coal from the various coal seams.

Also moved to the inside of the museum was a large church bell once used in the former Robertsdale United Methodist Church which today houses the Reality Church of God, pastored by Jeff Musser. The Coal Miners Museum sold the church to the current parishioners last year after moving back to the Reality Theatre.

Love assisted with the relocation project using township equipment. A year earlier, Steve Jackson of Huntingdon, an activist with the nearby Friends of the East Broad Top (FEBT), helped move the mechanical miner and coal car from the church to the back of the Reality Theatre.

The church bell, placed in service in 1890, when the Robertsdale Methodist Church was erected, is now on display inside the museum, along with other exhibits about the Robertsdale landmark.

With only seven weekends remaining until the museum concludesits regular season (group tours are welcomed all year), the museum leaders are preparing to install audio/visual equipment which will allow the society to show movies on the Reality Theatre’s large CinemaScope screen.

Also, the society is proposing to update its heating system this fall so that the museum will be able to operate periodically during the cold, winter months.

It was also announced that the Coal Miners Museum will be open the Columbus Day weekend of Oct. 6-8, in conjunction with the annual FEBT Reunion and the East Broad Top Railroad’s Fall Celebration. Activities are planned for Rockhill and Robertsdale. Additional details will be announced later.

In other matters, it was announced that the society has sold out of its reprint of the “True Stories about Broad Top Mountain and Surrounding Valleys.” A new order has been placed and the book is now available at the Coal Miners Museum or by mailing in orders to the Broad Top Area Coal Miners Historical Society, Post Office Box 231, Robertsdale, Pa. 16674.

It should be noted that due to increased printing costs, the “Little Red Book” is now selling for $15 (plus $5.50 per book if ordering by mail). Checks should be made out to the Broad Top Area Coal Miners Historical Society.