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The Coal Region is a term used to refer to an area of Northeastern Pennsylvania in the central Appalachian Mountains comprising Lackawanna, Luzerne, Columbia, Carbon, Schuylkill, Northumberland, and the extreme northeast corner of Dauphin counties.
The region's population was 890,121 people as of the most recent census. Many of the place names in the region are from the Delaware Indians or Lenapes and Susquehanna native American Indians. The region is home to the largest known deposits of anthracite coal found in the Americas, with an estimated reserve of seven billion short tons (PA DEP Website). It is these deposits that provide the region with its nickname. The discovery of anthracite coal was first made in the Schuylkill County by hunter Necho Allen.
The Region lies north of the Lehigh Valley and Berks County Regions, south of the Endless Mountains, west of the Pocono Mountains, and east of the region known in Pennsylvania as the Susquehanna Valley. The Region lies at the northern edge of the Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians, and draws its name from the vast deposits of anthracite coal that can be found under several of the valleys in the region. The Wyoming Valley is the most densely populated of these valleys, and contains the cities of Wilkes-Barre and Scranton. Hazleton and Pottsville are two of the larger cities in the southern portion of the region. The Lehigh and Schuylkill Rivers both originate within the region, while the much larger Susquehanna River skirts the Northern edge.
Settlement in the region predates the American Revolution, the discovery of the anthracite coal for which it is named occurred in 1762, and the first mine was established in 1775 near Pittston, PA. Population rapidly grew in the period following the American Civil War, with the expansion of the mining and railroad industries. English, Welsh, Irish and German immigrants formed a large portion of this increase, followed by Polish, Slovak, Ruthenian, Ukrainian, Hungarian, Italian, Russian and Lithuanian immigrants. The influence of these immigrant populations is still strongly felt in the region, with various towns possessing pronounced ethnic characters and ethnic food.
The anthracite mining industry loomed over much of the region until its decline in the 1950s. Strip mines and evidence of mine fires such as the Centralia, Pennsylvania mine fire are still visible throughout much of the area. Several of the more violent incidences in the history of the US labor movement occurred within the coal region as this was the location of the Lattimer Massacre and the home of the Molly Maguires.
The Knox Mine Disaster in 1959 essentially served as the death knell for deep mining within the region; almost all current anthracite mining is done via strip mining. Tours of underground mines can be taken in Ashland, Scranton, and Lansford, each of them also having museums dedicated to the mining industry. Also evident are "patch towns", small villages affiliated with a particular mine. These small towns, with populations typically less than 500, were solely owned by the mine. Though no longer company owned, many such hamlets survive; one of them, the Eckley Miners' Village, is a historical park owned and administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, which seeks to restore patch towns to their original state.
Famous people from the Coal Region 
- Nick Adams - Actor.
- Joe Amato - 5-time NHRA Top Fuel Champion. Drag Racing
- Joe Biden - U.S. Vice President.
- David Bohm - quantum physicist.
- George Bretz (1842-1895) -- photographed the Coal Region
- Les Brown - jazz musician
- Ben Burnley - lead singer of rock band Breaking Benjamin.
- P. J. Carlesimo - professional basketball coach, San Antonio Spurs.
- Robert P. Casey - former Governor of Pennsylvania.
- Bob Casey, Jr. - U.S. Senator.
- George Catlin - artist.
- Jimmy Cefalo - Professional football player, Miami Dolphins
- Stan Coveleski - Major League Baseball Hall of Fame member
- Anthony P. Damato - United States Marine, Medal of Honor recipient.
- Jack Dolbin, Professional football player, Denver Broncos.
- Jimmy Dorsey - jazz clarinetist, saxophonist, big band leader.
- Tommy Dorsey- jazz trombonist, big band leader.
- Ellen Albertini Dow - actress, The Wedding Singer's Rapping Granny
- Ham Fisher - cartoonist.
- Daniel J. Flood - U.S. Congressman.
- Alexander Joseph Foley - United States Marine, Medal of Honor recipient.
- Howard Gardner - scientist, author.
- James M. Gavin - Lieutenant General, United States Army.
- Henry Hynoski Professional football player for the New York Giants.
- Jane Jacobs - sociologist, author.
- Russell Johnson - actor.
- John E. Jones III - born in Pottsville in 1955, presided over the landmark Intelligent design case, Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District in 2005.
- Paul E. Kanjorski - Member of Congress.
- Jean Kerr - author.
- Eddie Korbich - actor.
- Matthew Lesko - infomercial personality.
- Edward B. Lewis - Nobel Prize-winning scientist.
- Joe Maddon - Manager of the Tampa Bay Rays.
- Christy Mathewson - former professional baseball player, New York Giants (now the San Francisco Giants).
- Joseph L. Mankiewicz - film director, producer, and screenwriter.
- Richard Marcinko - Navy seal, author.
- Mary McDonnell - actress.
- Gerry McNamara - college basketball player, Syracuse University.
- Jason Miller - Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, actor.
- Mike Munchak, professional football coach, Tennessee Titans, former professional football player, Houston Oilers.
- Jozef Murgaš - radio pioneer.
- Amedeo Obici - founder of Planters Peanuts Company.
- John O'Hara - author.
- Jack Palance - actor.
- William Daniel Phillips - Nobel Prize-prize winning scientist.
- Joe Pisarcik - Former NFL Quarterback (NY Giants & Philadelphia Eagles) famous for his involvement in the "Miracle in the Meadowlands"
- Darryl Ponicsan - author, screenwriter.
- Robert Reich - former U.S. Secretary of Labor.
- Paul W. Richards - former astronaut.
- Conrad Richter - author.
- Hugh Rodham - father of the former U.S. Secretary of State, former U.S. Senator, and former First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton.
- Tim Ruddy - center for the Miami Dolphins from 1994 - 2003.
- Victor Schertzinger - composer, film director, film producer and screenwriter.
- William Scranton - former Governor of Pennsylvania, U. S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and 1964 U.S. Presidential candidate.
- William Scranton, III - former Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania, two-time gubernatorial candidate.
- B. F. Skinner, Psychologist, Radical Behaviorist, Harvard Professor, and author.
- Jimmy Spencer - Former NASCAR Driver and Current TV Analyst for the Speed Channel
- Bob Sura - Houston Rockets NBA basketball player.
- Charley Trippi - Played for Pitston Patriots, NFL Hall of Fame
- John Anthony Walker - spy for the Soviet Union.
- Ed Walsh - former professional baseball player, Chicago White Sox.
See also 
- Eckley Miners' Village
- Franklin B. Gowen, president of the Reading Railroad who served as the lead prosecutor in the trial to break up the Molly Maguires.
- Major coal producing regions
- Schuylkill Canal
- http://www.msha.gov/district/dist_01/history/history.htm%7Cwork=The U.S. Department of Labor|publisher=Mine Safety and Health Administration
- Coal Region travel guide from Wikivoyage
- Pennsylvania's Northern Coal Field
- A collection of nostalgia and regionalisms from the Anthracite Coal Region of Pennsylvania
- The Anthracite Coal region
- Map of the anthracite coal fields of Pennsylvania
- History of anthracite coal mining
- Abandoned Anthracite Mines in PA
- Brief history of the Molly Maguires
- "A Jewel In the Crown of Old King Coal Eckley Miners' Village" by Tony Wesolowsky, Pennsylvania Heritage Magazine, Volume XXII, Number 1 - Winter 1996
- A website with extensive detail on and a virtual tour of Eckley