Pennsylvania’s rich coal mining history features both heart-wrenching tragedy and unexpected miracles. Tragedy was not uncommon in the coal mining industry in the early 20th century. But, December 1907 proved the deadliest month in coal mining history in the United States.

More than 700 men and boys perished in coal mine accidents that December. Among them was the Darr Mine Disaster, the second deadliest coal mining accident in United States history. The first took place only days before when the Monongah Mine Disaster in West Virginia claimed 362 lives.

Just 13 days later, the town of Van Meter would be mourning the loss of 239 coal miners. (It would become the worst coal mining accident in Pennsylvania history.) But, with that loss also came what many at the time, and since, have called a miracle.

Did you know the story behind the deadliest coal mining accident in Pennsylvania history? Did it affect you or someone you know? Share your story in the comments! Want learn more about PA’s rich history? Click here to read about Three Mile Island.

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