The Monongah Heroine Memorial

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DonnaPellegrin
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The Monongah Heroine Memorial

Postby DonnaPellegrin » 27 Oct 2005, 17:16

In the early 1900’s many Italian men, desperate to escape the poverty in southern Italy, came to America to work in the coal mines. Sadly, many of them lost their lives to this dangerous profession. One hundred and seventy-one Italian immigrants were identified among the dead in the coal mine disaster at Monongah, West Virginia in 1907. (Many more were suspected dead but were not identified.)

A memorial to the miners in Monongah serves to remind us of the abhorrent working conditions and terrible risks undertaken by these men on a daily basis merely to provide food for their families. Yet, courage and fortitude in the coal mining towns were not attributes limited to the men alone. The women who endured life and tragedy in these towns are worthy of notice as well.

Today, in remembrance of these women, a committee is attempting to gather the funds to erect a statue to pay tribute to the widows of the Monongah disaster and to coal miner’s wives everywhere. The idea for this memorial was conceived by Reverend Everett Francis Briggs of Monongah. Rev. Briggs remembers with emotion the story of one Italian woman left widowed by the Monongah disaster. Deeply affected by the calamity, her mind was never able to recover from the violent death of her husband. Each day she returned to the mine and carried home a small load of coal to lighten her husband’s load. Rev. Briggs has never forgotten this widow and prays at her grave often.

Below is a sketch of the proposed statue as well as a newspaper article about the project for anyone who might care to contribute. All donations to this Monongah Heroine Memorial will be personally acknowledged by Reverend Briggs. Donations are tax deductible.

Anyone wishing to have the complete list of the names of the 171 Italian victims of the Monongah disaster, as well as their beneficiaries, can send me a private message on this website.

Photos of the Monongah disaster are online at:
http://www.msha.gov/DISASTER/MONONGAH/MONON1.asp

******************
Image

Update On The Progress Of Monongah Statue
By Russell F. Bonasso

Some months ago, we wrote that a
group of interested people formed a
committee, headed by Father
Briggs, that would undertake a pro-
ject to build a memorial honoring,
not only the widows of the 1907
coal mining disaster, but to coal
miners’ wives everywhere who have
led a hard and difficult life.
The older readers can remember,
and the younger readers have heard
how hard those women worked.
Imagine this scenario – many min-
ers, during the depression, worked
only one or two days a week and
many weeks, no days, where the
“women of the houseâ€Â

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casamia
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Re: The Monongah Heroine Memorial

Postby casamia » 29 Oct 2005, 19:53

What a sad day it must have been for Duronia del Sannio. I counted over 30 miners from that town and it looked to me like several of them were related.

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Re: The Monongah Heroine Memorial

Postby DonnaPellegrin » 30 Oct 2005, 03:30

Yes, and many from my grandfather's town also, which was San Giovanni in Fiore.

Still, I think the saddest of all were the cases where the miners were not identified and so no notification was ever sent to their families in Italy. Those men went to America and were simply never heard from again.
Donna Pellegrin

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Re: The Monongah Heroine Memorial

Postby cannmin » 07 Jul 2007, 22:24

Hi Donna,
I'm trying to find more information on a relative of mine, Domenico Mascia, who died in the 1907 Monongah mine disaster.
Apparently, he was married to a Marion (Mary) Emma Edith Grimm and they had two children.
I would love to find out what happened to the two children. Where are they now? What happened with this Mascia family? If you have any information or know where I can find more information please let me know.
Thank you.

Angela Mascia

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Re: The Monongah Heroine Memorial

Postby DonnaPellegrin » 08 Jul 2007, 13:38

Hello Angela,
Welcome to the Italian Genealogy Homepage. I see that you have started a new thread in search of Domenico Mascia's family. I will answer you there in order to keep all of the communications on one thread.
Donna Pellegrin

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Update The Monongah Heroine Memorial

Postby DonnaPellegrin » 19 Jul 2007, 02:37

I am happy to post that today the Monongah Heroine Statue is a reality and several dedication ceremonies have been planned.

There will be a pre-dedication of the statue at 7:00 p.m. on Friday August 17th as a part of the Monongah Festival. Refreshments will be served immediately afterward at the Monongah Town Hall. A Candlelight vigil will be held at the Mount Calvary Cemetery following the refreshments. A transit bus will be available to transport people from the town hall to the cemetery.

The formal dedication ceremony for the statue will be on October 9th of this year. A delegation from Calabria will be in Monongah at this time and will be present at this ceremony.

A third ceremony will be held in December on the 100 year anniversary of the tragedy.
Donna Pellegrin

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Re: The Monongah Heroine Memorial

Postby katethomas2191 » 08 Mar 2012, 01:06

I am a ballet choreographer based in New York City. I have created a ballet based on the Monongah West Virginia mining disaster. The central figures are the widows.
My journey creating The Appalachian Suites Project had a profound effect on me as an artist. My grandmother came to this country from Italy in 1907, the year of the tragedy. The Italians who died in the mine disaster hailed from central and southern Italy. to honor the victims of the tragedy with regular cemetery visits is a tradition.
The piece grew into a representation of our American heritage through a story of immigration, struggle and hope. I am very proud of the each of the seven sections I have completed. It is now necessary to mount a production of the full ballet. I write today to solicit further information or support for “The Appalachian Suites Project, The Women of Monongah”.
I can be reached by my website http://www.balletneo.net
Please contact me if you have any suggestions or more details on the stories of these remarkable women.
Kate Thomas

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Re: The Monongah Heroine Memorial

Postby carmine1917 » 13 Mar 2012, 01:31

An awful tragedy! Congratulations to all of you who worked on this memorial and for you Kate Thomas for remembering our heritage. Italians have been ignored for too long!


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