Friday, September 18, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Early Tuberculosis patient records found at Cresson
My biological paternal grandfather, Otto Strike, was the ice plant operator at Cresson Tuberculosis Sanitarium, PA, and died at the "San" from a heart attack in May 1946, according to his death certificate- and he was widowed.
I have been looking for Otto's 1930 census enumeration, but thus far, have not been able to find him. I browsed hundreds of doctors, nurses, employees, and patients who were enumerated at the San in 1930, but Otto was not among them. Maybe, he'll be in the 1940 census to be released to the public in 2012.
In the meantime, genealogists who are looking for FAMILY members who were patients at the San between 1924 and 1931, might consult an archived item at Cambria County Historical Society in Ebensburg, PA. Four boxes of index cards, ~9000 TB patient records were found in the attic of the Administration Building, State School No. 7, which is now a State Prison. The cards were turned over by the Superintendant to Cambria Co. Historical Society. In the image above, one of the boxes is held by Dave Huber of CCHS.
UPDATE: I just re-read Otto Strike's 1946 obituary, and it states that Otto worked at the Cresson Sanitarium for the previous 13 years; that is, 1933 to 1946. Thus, it seems that Otto had not started work at the Sanitarium by the 1930 census. The question remaines: where was Otto at that time?
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
The Ghost Town Trail at Nanty Glo
One of my favorite Rail-Trails in PA is the Ghost Town R-T. Here, I can travel through the heritage and culture of my coal mining ancestors. Once, there were many well-populated coal mining towns, some set up by the patronizing coal companies themselves. The miners paid rent to the company and spent their script at the company store. All that is gone now. The former towns that once lined Black Lick Creek and the railroad which ran beside it are "ghosts" today. Here, the trail runs through Nan T Glo, or Nanty Glo, which in Welsh means "stream of coal". On far right, one can still see eroded mountains of slag or "boney" piles- waste from coal mining operations. The run-off from these acidic wastes taints the waters of BL Creek. Reclamation is underway, but the job is monumental. In 2005, Trail was extended 8 more miles to Ebensburg- county seat of Cambria.
"... It will form like a habit and seap in your soul/ Till the stream of your blood is as black as the coal". From "Dark as a Dungeon"