Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Holes in the Hills

Recently, while on the campaign trail, I attended a meeting of the Fort Vance Historical Society at the Burgettstown Library. Their speaker was Joseph Bogo, who has written a historical novel entitled "Holes in the Hills" based on an actual coal miners riot that took place not far from Avella in Cliftonville, West Virginia, in July, 1922.

This was new history to me: When men from the mining camps near Avella heard the that replacement workers had been hired during a strike in Cliftonville, they marched into West Virginia and joined the hostilities. There were eight or nine recorded deaths but many more (including those of replacement workers) probably took place.

This is likely just one of many forgotten stories out of the mining camps that employed thousands in the Avella area in early 1900s. Mr. Bogo lives in the Avella Highlands neighborhood of Independence Township.

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