Mary Meyers - introduction
Gail Herman: Mary, I would like to first ask you how did you get interested in history? Everybody thinks you know so much about the area.
Mary Meyers: Well I've lived here all my life. I was born here, and all my family were. And my mother also was born in Lonaconing. My father was born in Lonaconing. His parents came from Germany. His father came from Germany, but his mother was one of the early residents in this county. My mother's father, my grandfather, came from Ireland. But he married a girl who was of Irish descent but she was born in Maryland, also. And my grandfather on my father's side was a coal miner and his sons were coal miners. His youngest son was killed in a coalmine, a mine accident.
My father was a miner from the time he was 10 years old, and that would have been 1890, 1891, and until about 1922. ‘22, ‘24, along in there. And then he was having trouble with his lungs, his breathing, and so he bought a grocery store, which was just across the street, across from the park. So then he had a store there.
He worked in the mine when I was a little girl.
GH: What mine did he work in?
MM: He worked in a number of mines around here. They called one Bluebell. They all had fancy names.
I can't tell you all them, but there were mines on all the hills around here. When we were youngsters we used to watch the coal miners, especially. They had paths going up to the mine and on all the hills you could see the paths and you could walk on them. But the miners had worn them going to and from work.
When they went out on the cat-eye shift, which is, started at 10 o'clock or 11 at night and worked all night, we could see them going to work. We could see their little, their lights on the mining caps going on up the hillside and we used to like to watch that after dark.
Mary Meyers and Gail Herman
Photograph from an event at the George's Creek Library.
Garrett College, McHenry.
Coal miners--Maryland--History; Coal miners--West Virginia--History; Garrett County (Md.)--History; Allegany County (Md.)--History.
Western Maryland, 1930-1980