WORTH REPEATING! (Man as Old as Coal?) 1881 news item

Ed Conrad (edconrad@prolog.net)
Tue, 05 Nov 1996 11:01:17 GMT

In the wake of the redhot controversy whether man IS as old
as coal, here once again is the intriguing news item exactly as it
appeared in the Hazleton (Pa.) Sentinel in August 1881.
About three miles from Ashley, a Mr. McCauley has the contract
from the Wilkes-Barre Coal & Iron Co. for sinking a coal shaft. It is
twenty feet square and is intended to have two tracks for carriages to
run in hoisting up the coal, and is said to be the largest opening of
the kind in the coal regions.
It is located near the base of the mountain and has reached a
depth of 475 feet.
Saturday last, when the gang, or what is known as the second shift
of men, were about retiring, after firing off a course of holes, Tom
Cassidy, the foreman, descended the shaft to ascertain the result of
the explosion, and was astonished to find an immense cavity in one of
the sides of the shaft.
The explosion appeared to have a terrible effect and caused more
damage than benefit on one side, but his astonishment was still
greater increased on clearing away some of the refuse of the rock
blown by the shots to discover a solid mass of rock in which appears a
clearly-defined human shape of giant proportions.
All the limbs, muscles and lineaments are apparent. The rock is
about 16 feet in length, 18 in breadth, and about 8 in thickness. The
dimensions of the human frame are giantly, measuring 12 feet in length
and 4 feet across the chest.
Across the breast is the impression of a huge shield, about four
feet in circumference, while the right hand clutches the broken and
butt end of a large cutlass or sword.
The rock was taken out whole and is now in possession of Mr. McCauley
in Ashley.