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The Anthracite Heritage Museum in Scranton Pennsylvania

America was built by coal. It was a tremendous source of heat energy for a very long period of time. And it still is a source. The coal mining industry has a very long and interesting history and it has a long history of hardship. Coal miners endured a lot to bring us coal.

You can visit their website here.


I paid a visit to the Anthracite Heritage Musuem in Scranton Pennsylvania. It was an interesting day. And the museum is quite nice with a whole lot of stuff about coal mining, coal, coal miners and the history of mining. They even have a fully laid out and detailed typical apartment of how a coal mining family lived.

For me the draw was coal as it relates to blacksmithing and forging.


One really fun thing about this museum is that they have an intact coal mine. You can actually get into a coal train and ride right down into it. This is very popular with people and the local schools have groups of students visiting all the time. You get on the train and ride right down into an actual coal mine. Although they aren't actually mining it any more. On the left of this picture you can see two platforms with a roof over them. This is where you queue up to get on the railroad train.


And inside the museum is a lot of interesting stuff about coal mining.



And something that caught me by surprise, although it shouldn't have, is a lot of stuff about the life of coal miners. It shouldn't have been a surprise because the arduous life and challenges of coal mining are now well known across America. They really did endure a lot.



They even have a full sized replica of a typical coal miner family home.

One thing that really piqued my interest was this diorama of pitch mining that they had in the museum. It shows a typical pitch mine. And I thought this would make a wonderful diorama project so.....

Coal mine diorama


So... I went ahead and made a project based on this diorama. After all, even though it is a coal mine diorama it pretty much is a dungeon diorama! Check it out here:

Thumbnail make a dungeon diorama bookMake a Dungeon Diorama Book

It is an easy to make dungeon using foamboard and foam. And it folds up just like a book. You can make one with unlimited rooms and potential. Make a Dungeon Diorama Book.


Thumb of the Scranton Iron FurnacesThe Scranton Iron Furnaces

They were a major supplier of iron for the railroad industry and you have never seen furnaces this large! Now a historic site and park. The Scranton Iron Furnaces.