Marianna, PA Receives First State Historical Marker Commemorating Mining Accident

Blue and gold state historical markers are a common site in Philadelphia and certain regions of Pennsylvania. However, until Saturday no such marker stood in Marianna.

Community members and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission unveiled the first state historical marker in Marianna over the weekend. The marker commemorates a mining explosion that occurred on November 28, 1908. 154 people died in the accident, making it the most lethal disaster in Washington County and one of the worst mining accidents in the country. The Marianna explosion and other mining disasters in the early-twentieth century spurred the creation of the US Bureau of Mines, which researched mining explosives in order to improve safety.

Lisa Scherer, a resident of West Bethlehem Township, conceived of the Marianna marker. Scherer worked with the Marianna Community Library to raise the cost of the marker and submit the application to the PHMC. The Commission approved of the marker, along with seventeen others, last March. Scherer felt optimistic about the marker’s chance of approval. “I knew there would be competition from across the state, but felt the fact that Marianna had no previous marker was an advantage,” she said.