The AHEPAN - Fall 2013 - (Page 16)

Remembering Dawson AHEPA Marks 100th Anniversary of Mining Disaster that took 35 Greek Lives A good aerial view of the town. According to the best source Coal Town:The Life and Times of Dawson New Mexico by Toby Smith, Dawson was sorted out into neighborhoods according to various social distinctions, including ethnicity. There would be a Greek area, an Italian area, etc. According to people from Dawson in spite of the geographic arrangements, it was a very tolerant community with no visible seperations otherwise. People tended to go with their group but were never excluded otherwise. T his fall, AHEPA marks the 100th anniversary of the second largest mining accident in United States history. Yes, that is correct. The leading Hellenic heritage association adopted as a national project at the 2013 Supreme Convention a nationwide commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the coal mine disaster at Dawson, New Mexico. The explosion took the lives of 263 miners on the afternoon of October 22, 1913. Most victims were immigrants, including 35 Greeks. "While we have in mind those of Greek descent who perished in 1913, and the second disaster at Dawson in 1923, this memorial service will stand as a tribute to all the miners and immigrants throughout the United States," Brother Robert Sexton said, a past District governor and co-chair for the commemoration project. "It is expected that chapters throughout the United States will join with our chapter [Chapter 151] in honoring the memory of those miners who now lie nearly forgotten in the lonely, windswept cemetery at Dawson, New Mexico." He added, "Because October 22 falls on a Tuesday, we asked chapters to sponsor a memorial service on the Sunday prior to anniversary date, which is October 20." 16 | THE AHEPAN ยท Fall 2013 Only 23 Survivors The Dawson coal mine was a complex of several mines about thirty miles west of Raton, New Mexico. Mining began there prior to 1900 by one J. B. Dawson who had purchased 3,700 acres of land that encompassed a major coal deposit. A small town soon sprang up, and in 1905, the Phelps Dodge Corporation bought the mine to provide fuel for its copper mining operations. The mines would produce more than 33 million tons of coal before shutting down in April, 1950. The miners, who worked in Dawson as well as mines throughout the west, were a diverse lot. Prominent among them were many Italians and Greeks. By 1913, the town numbered some 6,000 residents. Phelps Dodge was a safety-minded company but the dangers of coal dust were not recognized at the time. On October 22, 1913, at 3:10 p.m., an enormous explosion occurred in Stag Canyon Mine No.2. It was ultimately determined that a dynamite charge had ignited coal dust in the mine and 263 miners died in the resulting blast. There were twenty-three survivors, including George Mavroidis, who escaped a blast of gas and was taken out unconscious. Of the dead, 133 were Italians with the Greeks being the next largest group. Phelps Dodge paid all

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The AHEPAN - Fall 2013

President's Message
AHEPA Family News
Orlando Provides A "Universal" Blast!
Remembering Dawson
The Periclean
Civic Responsibility
AHEPA Family Chapter News
In Memoriam

The AHEPAN - Fall 2013