Pennsylvania Labor Markers

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Map created and supplied by Mike V.


Union Local 471 American Federation of Musicians

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.

Allegheny County

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

350,000 strikers,

Location: United Steelworkers Hall on Braddock Avenue, Braddock, Pennsylvania.

Homestead Strike

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.

Beaver County

NLRB vs. Jones & Laughlin

Supreme Court ruling upholding NLRA

Location: Franklin Avenue & Route 51, Aliquippa, Pennsylvania.

Berks County

Reading Railroad Massacre, 1877

Militia kills 10

Location: 7th & Penn streets, Reading, Pennsylvania.

Cambria County

John Brophy, Miners and CIO leader

Location: Triangle Park, Route 721, Armaugh, Pennsylvania.

Centre County

John Montgomery Ward

Founded first Baseball Players Union

Location: 236 East Lamb Street, Bellefonte, Pennsylvania.

Indiana County

William H. Sylvis

Iron Molders founder, National Labor Union president

Location: Keith Hall, Indiana University of Pa., Indiana, Pennsylvania.

Lackawanna County

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.

Luzerne County

Avondale Mine Disaster

110 miners died in 1869

Location: US 11 near junction PA 29, Plymouth Township, Pennsylvania.

Concrete City

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.

Lattimer Massacre

19 killed by deputies in 1897

Location: PA Rte 924 at Harwood, Pennsylvania.

Lattimer Massacre

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.

Montgomery County

Bryn Mawr Summer School for Women Workers In Industry

Location: Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia County

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.

Pike County

Unity House, ILGWU labor education retreat 1919-1989

Location: Bushkills Falls Road at Unity House entrance, Bushkill Falls, Pennsylvania.

Somerset County

Windber, bituminous coal company town

Location: 501 15th Street, Windber, Pennsylvania.

Tioga County

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.

Washington County

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.

Westmoreland County

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.

Morewood Massacre

In 1891 eleven strikers were shot by Frick’s police

Location: Rte 119 overpass on Rte 981, Morewood, PA