Black Diamonds, Experience PA's Anthracite Mining Heritage
Mollie MacGuires
From 1865 to 1875, post-war recession combined with a crime wave in the region to create a decade marred by murder, assault and arson.  This wave of violence in Schuylkill, Carbon, Northumberland, Columbia and Luzerne Counties was attributed to a group of Irish coal miners dubbed the Molly Maguires.  Northumberland Courthouse
The legendary Molly Maguires were blamed for the crimes and subsequently charged with at least ten murders between 1862 and 1875.  The Pinkerton National Detective Agency joined forces with local railroad and coal companies to end the violence.  The hangings of twenty of these Molly Maguires in Pottsville, Jim Thorpe, Bloomsburg and Sunbury between 1877-1879 put an end to what the media called "The Molly Reign of Terror".  
The violence in the coal region did not end with the hangings of the Molly Maguires. Click Here for more information about the historic strikes.  
King of the Mollies Gravesite The story of the anthracite miner's struggle is found in many museums throughout the region. The Molly Maguire story is explained in part at museums and historical sites such as the Old Carbon County Jail Museum in Jim Thorpe, the Hibernian House in Girardville or the Historical Society of Schuylkill County.  

For more information on the Molly Maguires, you may wish to tour the region with the assistance of the Molly Maguire Auto Tour, which is available for sale through the Schuylkill County Visitors Bureau.