The program “Pennsylvania's Coal and Iron Police: Patch Town Law Enforcement,” will be offered October 21, 2009, at 7:00 p.m. at Indiana University of Pennsylvania's University Museum.

The presentation, which is free and open to the community, is by Spencer Sadler, a local freelance writer and educator.

Sadler has collected stories and photos through traditional research and personal interviews, court documents, archived newspaper clippings, coal company records, journals, and other materials.

This lecture is planned in conjunction with the exhibit “A Walk through Time: Western Pennsylvania Coal Culture” currently offered at the University Museum, on the first floor of Sutton Hall.

The museum is open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 2:00 to 6:30 p.m., Thursday from noon to 7:30 p.m., and Saturday from noon to 4:00 p.m. There is no charge for admission.

Parking on campus and in the IUP parking garage along Grant Street is free after 5:00 p.m. and on weekends.

Other lectures in the series are as follows:

  • October 28, 7:00 to 8:00 p.m.: “I Sold My Soul to the Company Town: Company Control in the Coal Patches of Western Pennsylvania, 1910–1930” by Dr. Elizabeth Ricketts. An assistant professor of history at IUP, Ricketts teaches courses in labor and African-American and women's history. Her research and publications focus on the social, labor, and political history of coal miners in Western Pennsylvania.
  • November 4, 7:00 to 8:00 p.m.: “Strike! Lessons Learned from the 1927–1928 Coal Strike at Rossiter” by Dr. Jim Dougherty. An assistant professor of sociology and director of the IUP Center for Northern Appalachian Studies, Dougherty is producer of the film “The Struggle for an American Way of Life: Coal Miners and Operators in Central Pennsylvania, 1919–1933.” He has coordinated oral history projects in numerous mining communities throughout the region.
  • November 14, 4:00 to 5:00 p.m.: “Researching Family History with Coal Culture Resources” by Rhonda Yeager. Assistant archivist in IUP's Special Collections and University Archives, Yeager served as the Rochester & Pittsburgh Coal Company project archivist for 2006–2007 and continues to assist patrons with research for the collection. She has taught a course on “Introduction to Genealogy” for IUP Continuing Education and is the co-curator of the museum exhibition.
  • November 18, 7:00 to 8 p.m.: “Unions: Roots of the ‘Democratic Impulse' in District 2, UMWA, 1919–1943” by Dr. Irwin Marcus. Professor emeritus with IUP's History Department, Marcus created the university's first courses in U.S. labor history, African-American history, and the history of protest movements. His research and publications focus on the history of Pennsylvania coal miners and steel workers, deindustrialization, and globalization.

Registration for lectures is preferred but not required. To register or for information, contact Sally Daskivich at the College of Fine Arts at 724-357-2397 or

The Pennsylvania Coal Culture exhibition will be available through December 5. Find more information about “A Walk Through Time: Pennsylvania Coal Culture.”