NORTHERN CAMBRIA — Coal Country Hangout Youth Center will present “A Town Walled In,” a documentary detailing the history of Moss Creek-Marsteller in Cambria County, on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at CCHYC.
The history project, funded by Pennsylvania Humanities Council and sponsored by CCHYC, is the work of 15 students from Northern Cambria High School under the direction of Karen Bowman, chairwoman of the history department. Ryan Bixby of the University of Akron has been a consultant for the project.
CCHYC has an established after-school and summer enrichment curriculum titled “Cambria Re-Coal-lections” that stress the interrelatedness of various artistic disciplines with the region’s historic dependency on a single industry, coal mining. To date, 27 workshops have been offered to more than 1,000 children.
In 2009-10, CCHYC sponsored a workshop for a select group of students from NCHS to research the Labor Chautauqua Movement in Cambria County from 1918-1938. Their research produced eight illustrated lectures presented to eighth-grade middle school students as part of its curriculum in Pennsylvania State History. That research uncovered an anomaly of active resistance to the union movement that was centered in the unique walled town of Moss Creek-Marsteller, four miles north of Northern Cambria. The town was privately owned by the Pennsylvania Coal and Coke Co., later by Marsteller Community Water Authority (until the 1940s) and finally privately owned until the 1980s. Resistance to UMW effort at recruitment necessitated a pass from officials to go in and out of the walled town and to keep out “labor agitators.”
A reception will follow the screening.