Sunday, November 21, 2010

Nanty Glo, PA: The coal ran out but the library remains open

Link to November 21 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article, "Nanty Glo hangs on after coal runs out".

Excerpt:    There ain't too much here, that's for sure," he says. "It's surprising what happened to this town. After the coal went, it seems everything went."

Once, the town had three banks, a movie theater, drugstores, bars and restaurants. The local newspaper office, which set up in one of the abandoned banks, has moved to Ebensburg. The car dealership is long gone. The jagged, black scar where the mine entries once stood has been grassed over. Parking meters are gone because there is no premium on parking here anymore.

Well into the 1970s, children who dared to walk barefoot across the Blacklick Creek that cuts through the town emerged with orange ankles from the mine drainage. Today, such children as remain can fish the creek.

The town is clean, orderly, green, its creek restored and, five decades after it slid from pride of place in the census -- losing its spot as the most populous borough in Cambria County -- a bit ghost-ridden. The men who retired comfortably on coal pensions have good lives rooted in the past. Many of the young, locals say, leave in search of the future

Nanty Glo Public Library statistical snapshot

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