A UNIQUE part of Eastern Ohio history is featured on the cover of the 2014 calendar to benefit the Harrison Coal and Reclamation Historical Park.
On the cover of the informative and photo-filled calendar, now offered for sale, is a color picture of "The Tiger," a Marion 46-A shovel following "The Mountaineer" after the gigantic shovels crossed Interstate 70 in Belmont County on Jan. 4, 1973.
Dale Davis, who compiled the calendars, said Consol gave land to the state of Ohio for the interstate to go though and, in return, received permission for shovels to cross over the new highway four times. However, it was only used once for a crossing of the mammoth mining equipment.
The late Bill McNell, a Times Leader reporter at that time, was one of three newsmen aboard one of the shovels, and he described the ride, which began at 2 a.m., as "noisy, cold, anticlimatic." He also noted, "The Mountaineer isn't the quietest riding vehicle, but it has to be one of the easiest."
Shown in a sequence of four pictures in the calendar is construction of the earthern 35-40 foot barrier being placed over the traveled portion of I-70 for the crossing. (A plastic, clear overlay on the cover of the calendar includes the Hanna insignia, and the words, "Hanna Coal Company, 5561 Marion Shovel, 46-A 'The Tiger.'")
Another feature in the wealth of coal-related photos is a series showing one of the large shovels being assembled.
But, that's not all. There are several photographs related to mining in the 1940s, including a color picture of a shovel standing high above the ground and outlined against the sky.
One gets an idea of the size of the shovels when seen in the photos with individuals. One picture shows two small children gazing at the world's largest shovel in 1948, and it was on the cover of the Hanna Coal News.
Another calendar photo from a cover of the Hanna Coal News, shows when "two of the world's largest and most powerful shovels walked up to each other, shook hands - nodded in inexorable dignity - and passed on." They are the 46-A and the new 40-yard 43-B, and they met for the first time near Georgetown by U.S. 250 before going their separate ways.
A close-up of two employees next to a 35-yard bucket definitely illustrates the immensity of the bucket.
Then, there's the picture from 1956 when the boom and stick were damaged considerably when a highwall fell in on the bucket. Davis said it took four to five months for repairs.
Those are only some of the photos in the new calendar, and three are in color.
Davis said he really enjoyed putting the calendar together this year. "I had more to work with - a lot more pictures," he said. He also received help from miners and photographers who supplied photos and information.
He said there were about 800 negatives available of four Hanna shovels, and it was difficult to pick the ones for the calendar.
Explaining The Tiger was Hanna's first big shovel, Davis said it took about 63 trainloads to ship its parts into Georgetown from Marion, Ohio. Shipping began in 1943, and The Tiger was ready for use in 1944.
"In 1944, this was considered to be the world's largest shovel," he said.
Davis indicated that during World War II, it was important to get that kind of machine commissioned and put together.
"It was a big thing to have this size shovel available as coal was needed for the steel mills (to help in the war effort)," he added.
The Tiger was the first of four shovels whose parts were brought from the Marion Shovel Co. The second, known as the "Bumblebee," was built in 1947.
Another photo shows The Tiger as it moves toward a new pit west of Duncanwood in 1944. Duncanwood was the location of an underground mine which had been shut down.
Davis said that underground mine was the site of a strike, and that was the only time that the National Guard was called out for a coal mine strike in Ohio. He thought that occurred in 1927.
This is the fourth calendar produced as a fund-raiser for the Harrison Coal and Reclamation Historical Park, and Consol Energy is the sponsor for the calendar.
Calendars may be obtained by mailing orders to Dale Davis, 456 Park Ave., Cadiz, OH 43907. Each calendar costs $10 plus $2 for shipping and handling. Anyone wishing more information may call Davis, (740) 391-4135.
According to Davis, the calendars will be out before Christmas.
The Harrison County coal and reclamation group was organized in 1992 "for the purpose of forming an organization dedicated to the preservation of Ohio's coal and surface mining heritage."
Mining equipment is located in the group's historical park near Stumptown. It is located along Ohio 519 between U.S. 22 and Ohio 9, about a mile west of New Athens.
Proceeds from the calendar sales will go toward refurbishing mining equipment donated, replacement parts and fuel. It is necessary, according to Davis, to buy numerous replacement parts.
He added the group is always looking for donations of old mining equipment.
Pokas can be reached at email@example.com.