Southeast Kansas has become what it is today thanks to the efforts put in by innumerable immigrants from Europe, most of who worked on the coal fields located here. In fact, Crawford County and the neighboring Cherokee County were home to the famed Weir-Pittsburg Coalfields from where huge amounts of coal were mined over many years in the past century. The Miner’s Memorial and Immigrant Park was opened in 2008 to pay tribute to these stalwarts, more than 10,000 in total, who helped build up this place almost from scratch. Visitors to Pittsburg, Kansas should definitely include this museum in their sightseeing itinerary because it gives them a very good idea of what life was like in those days.
The main feature of the Miner’s Memorial and Immigrant Park in Pittsburg, Kansas is a large statue in bronze of a coal miner. Near the imposing statue are nine monuments made of highly polished black granite. The monuments contain the names of actual coal miners from Eastern and Southern Europe who labored in the deep shafts and strip mines of the Weir-Pittsburg Coalfields. Any name that has a star next to it is that of a miner who died on the job. As a matter of fact, this is of particular interest to descendants of these miners who come here to see if their ancestors’ names are present.
The miner’s memorial also includes an eye-catching mural that depicts a realistic looking scene from the coal mining years. The memorial also has a few kiosks in which the history of the area is displayed. Visitors to the memorial can stroll on a stone path and immerse themselves in the history of the area. The memorial plays a very valuable role in ensuring that people do not forget the role that the hard working miners played in developing this area.
The Miner’s Memorial and Immigrant Park is on Second Street in Pittsburg, situated in between Walnut and Pine streets. It is a very inspiring place to visit and not just for locals and people descended from the coal miners who helped build the economy of this area. The park is maintained very well thanks to generous donations from businesses and individuals, mostly from the town and neighbouring areas. There is place for tour buses to park and indeed, the place attracts many visitors who are interested in knowing about the history of this part of the United States. The area also has excellent infrastructure such as bathroom facilities and can deal with large groups of people easily.
People who are interested in learning details about the coal mining era in Kansas can also buy a number of books on the subject which are available at the memorial. It is safe to say that no trip to Southeast Kansas is complete without a visit to the Miner’s Memorial and Immigrant Park in Pittsburg, Kansas. This park is indeed a good place to spend a couple of hours and one can get education and entertainment at the same time.