This is the story of Anthracite coal, the men who mined it, and the disaster that ended it in northeastern Pennsylvania.
Knox Mine Disaster – The End of Anthracite is a documentary film centered on the coal mining tragedy that occurred January 22, 1959 in northeastern Pennsylvania. At the direction of the Knox Coal Company miners dug too close to the underbelly of the Susquehanna River causing a break-in that flooded the mines with over 10 billion gallons of water, trapping 47 miners underground.
On the surface the cave-in formed a giant whirlpool that reached 150-feet in diameter. Rescue teams attempted to plug the breach by tossing over 50 train cars full of hay, gravel, and rock into the river. This disaster ended deep coal mining in the Wyoming Valley of northeastern Pennsylvania and devastated an already distressed regional economy with the loss of over 10,000 mining related jobs.
Over the past 4 years, we've been traveling to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area conducting interviews and acquiring old footage of the disaster. We currently have over 15 hours of compelling interview footage and have obtained "never before seen" 8mm footage of the disaster and it's aftermath.
This project has been a labor of love as we've invested over $10,000 of our own money into camera equipment, travel, and editing gear, to get to where we are today.
Now more than ever, we need your help. To do the film justice we'd like to do a re-enactment of what the miners experienced underground. The funds from this Kickstarter campaign will go directly into producing this re-enactment which will be a combination of shooting live actors and charcoal style animation. Check out the concept drawing below.
After this phase of production we will dive into editing the film, post production sound, and music, essential components of any film. Like miner John Gadomski said, "It sounded like twenty freight trains and jets taking off!" We want audiences to get a real sense of what the miners experienced underground and a professional sound mix and design will be key.
Once the feature film Knox Mine Disaster - The End of Anthracite is complete we’d like to premiere it locally and then send it around to film festivals, film markets, and networks to find a distributor. Our goal is to get this film out to the masses and have it be seen by as many people as possible.
This film is a story about survivors. Not just the men who got out of the disaster alive but also the families that had to cope with the loss of a loved one and a community that had to economically survive the loss of over 10,000 jobs once the mines closed.
Please help us raise the funds we need to finish this amazing story that highlights the heroic miners who escaped the Knox Mine Disaster and honor the 12 men who lost their lives.
- Samuel Altieri
- John Baloga
- Benjamin Boyer
- Francis Burns
- Charles Featherman
- Joseph Gizenski
- Dominick Kaveliskie
- Frank Orlowski
- Eugene Ostroski
- William Sinclair
- Daniel Stefanides
- Herman Zelonis
More information about the Knox Mine Disaster, go to-
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
pledged of $10,000 goal
seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful This project reached the deadline without achieving its funding goal on March 4, 2012.
Jan 19, 2012 - Mar 4, 2012 (45 days)
Pledge $25 or more
Be the first to get a DVD copy of the feature film delivered to you. Shipping included!Estimated delivery: Jan 2013
Pledge $50 or more
Get a limited edition signed poster, and a copy of the DVD. Shipping included!Estimated delivery: Jan 2013
Pledge $100 or more
Get a Special Thanks in the ending credits of the film, plus a limited edition signed poster, and a copy of the DVD. Shipping included!Estimated delivery: Jan 2013
Pledge $250 or more
Receive passes for two to the Anthracite Heritage Museum in Scranton, Pennsylvania and a signed copy of "The Knox Mine Disaster: The Final Years of the Northern Anthracite Industry" Paperback book, by Robert P. Wolensky, also all previous rewards. Travel not included.Estimated delivery: Jan 2013
Pledge $500 or more
Two Tickets to the red carpet premiere in Wilkes-Barre, PA and all previous rewards. Travel not included.Estimated delivery: Jan 2013
Pledge $1,000 or more
Receive an exclusive Knox Mine Disaster Memorial Plaque engraved in Anthracite coal and Associate Producer Credit on the film with all previous rewards. Travel not included.Estimated delivery: Jan 2013
Pledge $2,500 or more
Get a private tour of the Historical Huber Breaker, located in Ashley, PA. and Associate Producer Credit. Also all previous rewards. Travel not included.Estimated delivery: Jan 2013
Pledge $5,000 or more
Executive Producer Credit at the beginning of the film and dinner with the filmmakers. We'd like to share our experiences in making the film with you over a nice meal. Also all previous rewards. Travel not included.Estimated delivery: Jan 2013