COAL AND COKE
Beehive Coke Years (A Pictorial History of Those Times.),
by John K. Gates. (Privately Published by the Author, 1979) 184
This collection of vintage black
and white photos depicting the aspects of mining and life in the
Bituminous coal region of Southwestern Pennsylvania. Masterful
in its documentation of the coal and coke era from its beginnings
following the Civil War, through the boom of the 1920's, the Great
Depression, the Second World War boom, and eventual decline of
the 1970's. Supurb quality photos of men, machinery, and animals
with detailed captions.
Patches of History. The 1920's and 1930's: Heyday of Fayette
County Coal and Coke, by Regis M. Maher, M.D. (Privately
Printed 1999), 212 pages.
Dr. Maher had witnessed the changes
and had known most of the people in the coal "patch towns"
of Lambert, Palmer, and Filbert as both a resident and a mining
company doctor. A chapter is dedicated to county medical history
and the Uniontown hospital. Many high quality photos - a real
labor of love.
Yesteryear in Masontown and Surrounding Communities,
by Marci Lynn McGinness, (Backwoods Books, 1994). 121 pages.
Businesses and "slice of life"
activities in Masontown, German Township, hub of the Klondike
coal region. Informal photos, mainly post World War 2, with many
Wilderness Empire, by Allan W. Eckert, (Little, Brown
and Company, Boston. 1969), 653 pages.
This work reads like a novel although
it is based upon solid scholarship. Beginning in the year 1715
and ending in 1759 the narrative unspools a day-to-day log of
events depicting the French, English, and Native American players
in the struggle for control of the western frontier. George Washington's
early adventures with frontiersman Christopher Gist and his subsequent
clashes with the French are richly documented as is Gen. Edward
Braddock's disastrous defeat in 1755.
Albert Gallatin, by John Austin Stevens, (Houghton,
Mifflin and Company, Boston and New York, 1883 and 1898). 423 pages
Part of a thirty-two volume "American
Statesman" series, this well illustrated book balances the
issues Gallatin dealt with on the Pennsylvania frontier (the Whiskey
Rebellion and Constitutional debates, for example), and his later
ascendancy within the Federal government (Congress and as Secretary
of the Treasury). Gallatin's career is is remarkable and sadly
neglected in American history - this work does much to address
the impact of the of the subsequent development of the United
States made by the Swiss immigrant who settled at Friendship Hill,
near New Geneva, Fayette county in 1789. His leading role in the
Louisiana Purchase, negotiation of the Treaty of Ghent and his
success as a New York banker following his retirement, are all
covered in detail.
Great American Legislators, by Howard W. Caidwell,
(J.H. Miller, Publisher Chicago, 1900).
A collection of essays, containing
a short, but incisive work on Albert Gallatin.
LA FAYETTE, MARQUIS de
Lafayette, by W.E. Woodward, (Farrar and Rinehart,
Inc., New York and Toronto 1938)
Offers a personalized perspective
of the statesman's extraordinary career. As with most
Lafayette biographies, Fayette county goes unmentioned in the
story of his heroic return to the
United States in 1824 - 25. Still, a well written and easily read
Life of General LaFayette, by Bayard Tuckerman, (Dodd,
Mead and Company, New York, 1889), 2 vols. 541 pages.
Scholarly treatment of the brilliant
career of French nobleman turned American patriot and Republican.
Though Lafayette is Fayette County's namesake, his memorable visit
to the county and reunion with Albert Gallatin is not mentioned
- this is well documented, however in James's Hadden's History
of Uniontown. Tuckerman's work is most prized for its explanation
of Lafayette's political affiliations and affections throughout
the American and French Revolutions. Contains beautiful, high
quality portrait engravings.
NATIONAL ROAD (U.S. Route 40).
The Old Pike A History of the National Road, with Incidents,
Accidents and Anecdotes Thereon, By Thomas B. Searight (Privately
Published, 1894) . 384 pages.
The original epic work documenting
"America's Appian Way." An outstanding compendium of
statistics, events and wonderful stories told by eyewitness (or
the actual actors) of the day of stagecoach and drover. Nearly
100 original photographs. Research largely concentrates on the
original section of the "Cumberland Road" commissioned
by the Federal Government 1811 -1817, stretching from Cumberland,
Maryland to Wheeling (then) Virginia and somewhat neglects the
sections built in the 1820's and 30's through Ohio, Indiana, and
Illinois. The work is rarely found today and has been reprinted
in an abridged and updated form as:
Thomas B. Searight's The Old Pike, An illustrated narrative
of the National Road, by Joseph E. Morse and R. Duff Green,
(The Green Tree Press, Orange Virginia, 1971). 189 pages.
Many new photos (some 250 illustrations)
included updates and some excellent historical ephemerae. Retains
much of the original flavor though abridged.
U.S. 40 TODAY- Thirty Years of Landscape Change in America,
by Thomas R. and Geraldine R. Vale, (The University of Wisconsin
Press, 1983), 198 pages.
An academic, though sometimes rakish
constructed narrative look at landscapes photographed first in
the early 1950's by Professor George Stewart and updated by the
Vales in the early 1980's. Ranging from Atlantic City to San Francisco,
they offer a study in geographic and cultural diversity unparalleled
in any other study of the highway.
UNIONTOWN & ENVIRONS
A History of Uniontown, The County Seat of Fayette County
Pennsylvania, by James Hadden, (Privately Published, 1913).
Superb comprehensive study of the
city from its prehistory to settlement by Virginia Quakers, Jacob
and Henry Beeson, through the National Road era, and finally,
to an unparalleled period of prosperity of the coal and coke boom.
The handbook of city history.
In Other Years (Uniontown and Southern Fayette County),
by John K. Gates, (Privately Printed, 1979) 184 pages.
This collection of black and white
photos could be credited for re inspiring interest in the county's
past. While some of the finer historical points may be debated,
the work is highly accurate and has become an indispensable aid
in reconstructing the past.
Stories of Uniontown and Fayette County, by Walter
"Buzz" Storey. (Published and copyright by the author,
1993). 235 pages.
A collection of essays describing
events, landmarks, and numerous items of topical interest. The
author, a highly regarded newspaperman, tackles many of the subjects
and episodes with the authority of firsthand knowledge. The most
recent major history of the city and county.