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Lost Coal with Lorena Beniquez

2018-08-05T17:07:32+00:00By |

Lorena Beniquez, a writer, photographer and a filmmaker, and the author of a new book, Lost Coal Country of Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Published by Arcadia, the book is part of the Images of Modern America series, so it’s part history, part photographic art, and part travel guide. Lorena visits many places in her book, including the site of the last coal breaker in America, scheduled for demolition soon. She also visits the spooky village of Centralia, abandoned 50 years ago when the the coal beneath caught fire. The fire continues and will burn for hundreds of years. Lorena writes about John Stella, an unsung hero who saved dozens of miners during the Knox Mine Disaster.

Through shared stories , interviews and research, Lorena captures history of the anthracite region. She’s the great granddaughter of a coal miner, she’s discovered her own family’s story. Perhaps it will inspire you to learn your own family’s story and how it IS America’s history.

From Lorena’s AMAZON page:

Lost Coal

Lost Coal Country of Northeastern Pennsylvania documents the region’s disappearing anthracite history, which shaped the legacy of the United States of America and the industrial revolution. The coal mines, breakers, coal miners’ homes, and railroads have all steadily disappeared. With only one coal breaker left in the entire state, it was time to record what would soon be lost. Unfortunately, one piece of history that persists is underground fires that ravage communities like Centralia. Blazing for over 50 years, the flames of Centralia will not be doused anytime soon. Images featured in the book include the St. Nicholas coal breaker, Huber coal breaker, Steamtown National Historic Site, Lackawanna Coal Mine Tour, Eckley Miners’ Village, Centralia, and the Knox Mine disaster. A hybrid history book and travel guide, Lost Coal Country of Northeastern Pennsylvania is one final recounting of what is gone and what still remains.

Author and photographer Lorena Beniquez captures the oral and physical history of the anthracite region. Although the great-granddaughter of a coal miner, Beniquez knew little of her family’s story, so she set out on a journey to recover not only her own history but that of countless other families as well.

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Wholehearted Author Podcast with Robin Van Auken: Today's Guest

Lorena Beniquez

Listen to Lorena Beniquez discuss her work as a writer, photographer and filmmaker.

Wholehearted Author Podcast with Robin Van Auken: You'll Learn
  • Industrial Revolution
  • Anthracite Coal
  • Coal Breakers
  • Railroad
  • Centralia
  • Steamtown National Historic Site
  • Eckley Miner’s Village
  • Knox Mine Disaster
  • Lackawanna Coal Mine
Wholehearted Author Podcast with Robin Van Auken: Resources

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Wholehearted Author Podcast with Robin Van Auken: License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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About the Author:

Robin Van Auken, CEO of Hands on Heritage, is a writer and researcher, with 35+ years experience interviewing people and telling stories. Her educational background combines advanced degrees in Communications and Anthropology, with a focus on Public and Historical (Military/Industrial Sites) Archaeology. In addition to her work as a journalist, she is the author and co-author of a dozen books on regional history. An adjunct college instructor, she has directed multi-year historical and archaeological projects, working with hundreds of volunteers and temporary staff, and educating thousands of visitors.