Pennsylvania Labor Markers
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Map created and supplied by Mike V.
Union Local 471 American Federation of Muscians
The Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission and the African American Jazz Preservation Society of Pittsburgh honored the legacy of Pittsburgh jazz musicians with the installation of a historical marker in honor of African American Musicians Local 471 of the American Federation of Musicians, a fitting tribute and memoir to the rich musical history that was a part of Pittsburgh’s Hill District.
Notable members of Local 471 included Mary Lou Williams, Erroll Garner, Art Blakey, Stanley Turrentine, Billy Strayhorn, Ray Brown and Ahmad Jamal and more. They were part of a distinguished group of players who went on to become international performers, great influences on the development of jazz throughout the latter part of the 20th century. These musicians and the union’s venue, the Musicians Club, were at the heart of a rich culture that developed in the lower Hill District and continues today.
TOURING GUIDE: Historical Labor Markers in PA
40 State Historical Markers Commemorate Labor
Republished from the Pennsylvania Labor History Journal Vol. 23, December, 2001
Revised: April 10, 2008
The first historical markers were installed by the Pennsylvania Historic Museum Commission on September 9th 1946.
Pennsylvania Labor History Society Director Ken Wolensky, of the Pennsylvania Historic Museum Commission, compiled and distributed a detailed list of all of the markers in the Commonwealth commemorating individuals, organizations and events associated with the labor movement.
Noteworthy is the loss of life among working people. Markers for mine disasters commemorate some 600 deaths from 1859 to 1959 out of the tens of thousands of miners who were killed in Pennsylvania mines. They also commemorate events where over one hundred workers were killed in labor’s struggles. The following is a compilation of the list, with the county, marker name and locations:
City of Pittsburgh
Founding Convention of the AFL in Pittsburgh, 1881
Location: NW corner of Mellon Park, opposite the William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Founding Convention of the CIO in Pittsburgh, 1928
Location: North Commons Drive, above Allegheny Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
United Steelworkers of America founding, 1936
Location: Grant Street, between 3rd and 4th Avenues, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Ironworkers Union founding, 1896
Location: Grant Street and Boulevard of the Allies, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The Great Railroad Strike of 1877
Pennsylvania Militia shoots 26
Location: 28th Street Crossing off Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
1909 McKees Rocks Strike
Location: 812 Island Ave. McKees Rocks Bridge, at Pressed Steel Car, Stowe Twp., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Bost Building, headquarters of the 1892 strike committee
Location: 623 East Eighth Avenue, Homestead, Pennsylvania.
The Great Steel Strike of 1919
Location: United Steelworkers Hall on Braddock Avenue, Braddock, Pennsylvania.
The Battle at the Pump House on July 6, 1892 with the steelworkers and townspeople defending their right to work at the Carnegie Mill against the Pinkerton agents sent by H.C. Frick to secure the steelworks property.
Location: 888 Waterfront Drive, Munhall, PA (East of LOWES Builders Supply Store)
Homestead Strike Victims
Three local men who died at the Battle of Homestead are buried in Homestead Cemetery, and three more are buried in St. Mary Magdalene Cemetery. Both cemeteries are located on a hill in Munhall, a short distance from where their deaths occurred.
Location: 22nd Avenue and Main Street, Munhall, Pennsylvania.
NLRB vs. Jones & Laughlin
Supreme Court ruling upholding NLRA
Location: Franklin Avenue & Route 51, Aliquippa, Pennsylvania.
Reading Railroad Massacre, 1877
Militia kills 10
Location: 7th & Penn streets, Reading, Pennsylvania.
John Brophy, Miners and CIO leader
Location: Triangle Park, Route 721, Armaugh, Pennsylvania.
John Montgomery Ward
Founded first Baseball Players Union
Location: 236 East Lamb Street, Bellefonte, Pennsylvania.
William H. Sylvis
Iron Molders founder, National Labor Union president
Location: Keith Hall, Indiana University of Pa., Indiana, Pennsylvania.
Anthracite Mine Disaster
72 Killed in 1911
Location: In front of Throop Borough Building, Charles and Sanderson Avenue, Throop, Pennsylvania.
Terence W. Powderly
Grand Master Workman, Knights of Labor
Location: North Main Avenue, near Mears Street, West Scranton, Pennsylvania.
Thomas J. Foster
Early mine safety advocate
Location: Wyoming Avenue, near Ash Street, Scranton, Pennsylvania.
Avondale Mine Disaster
110 miners died in 1869
Location: US 11 near junction PA 29, Plymouth Township, Pennsylvania.
Early model for industrial housing
Location: Front Street in Hanover section of Nanticoke, Pennsylvania.
Knox Mine Disaster
12 died in illegal mine below river
Location: St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church on Main Street, Port Griffith, Jenkins Township, Pennsylvania.
19 killed by deputies in 1897
Location: PA Rte 924 at Harwood, Pennsylvania.
Violence against strikers’ march killed 19
Location: SR 3028, just East of Lattimer Crossroads, Pennsylvania.
Min L. Matheson
ILGWU organizer and community leader
Location: Public Square, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
Rev John J. Curran
Championed labor in 1902 strike
Location: Holy Savior Church, 43 Penn Street, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
Twin Shaft Disaster, 58 killed, 1896
Location: North Main and Union Streets, Pittston, Pennsylvania.
Bryn Mawr Summer School for Women Workers In Industry
Location: Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.
Mother Jones, the march of the factory children
Location: North Broad Street and John F. Kennedy Boulevard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
New Century Guild
Pioneer women’s labor guild
Location: 1307 Locust Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
First Black Musicians Union, Local 274
Location: 912 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Unity House, ILGWU labor education retreat 1919-1989
Location: Bushkills Falls Road at Unity House entrance, Bushkill Falls, Pennsylvania.
Windber, bituminous coal company town
Location: 501 15th Street, Windber, Pennsylvania.
William B. Wilson,UMW leader, first Labor Secretary
Location: US 15 just south of Blossburg. Pennsylvania.
Williamson Road, road builders block house
Location: SR 2005 (old US 15) south of Liberty, Pennsylvania.
Williamson Road, 1792 rescue of road builders
Location: Business Rte. 15 south of Mansfield at Canoe Camp, Pennsylvania.
Cement City, Donora Steel worker housing
Location: McKean Avenue (PA Rte. 837), South Donora, Pennsylvania.
Joseph A. “Jock” Yablonski, assassinated UMW leader
Location: 3rd and Wood Streets, California, Pennsylvania.
Darr Mine Disaster
71 of 239 killed in 1907 buried here, Olive Branch Cemetery
Location: PA Rte. 981 between PA 51 and Smithton, Pennsylvania.
Fannie Sellins, UMW organizer, murdered in 1919
Location: Union Cemetery, PA Rte. 386, Arnold, Pennsylvania.
Mammoth Mine Explosion
109 miners killed at Frick mine
Location: St. Johns’ Cemetery, Mt. Pleasant, Pennsylvania.
In 1891 eleven strikers were shot by Frick’s police
Location: Rte 119 overpass on Rte 981, Morewood, PA