History Of Our House In Morea

9,16



Agnes Beninsky was 8 years of age when her family moved to the patch called Morea in the year 1912.



The history of our house in Morea was more colorful than most, and lent itself to all sorts of speculation and superstition.



A1l the homes were owned by the Dodson Coal Company. The man who lived there before us was Italian. I will call him Mr. Dee though this is not his correct name. He lived there with his wife and only child. He was one of the fire bosses, and they had ten men living with them . Some worked directly under him, others worked in other parts of the co1liery.



The men were primarily young Italian immigrants who had been enticed to the coal fields by news of unlimited jobs and opportunities in the new world. A few were older men who had not married traveled from one mine to another. They were appropriately called ''drifters'', didn't seem to mind the lesser comforts. Some were addicted to the bottle and not able to pay the usual boarders fee that entitled them to a clean -though often shared room a bed and three meals a day. There were no bathrooms, only the proverbial outhouse and the pail with a lid that was used at night. In addition to the house there were several shantys and a barn.

The house had two rooms upstairs and two down. The entire second floor and the barn were covered with a thick layer of hay which the men had used for bedding! The story was circulated that Mr . Dee was a '' Black Hander '' i.e. a member of the Mafia!! This in addition to his duties at the mines mine!! One night as he was walking home from the mines he was shot and died. Some said that it; was the result of a gang fight between the few remaining "Molly Maguires '' and the ''Black Handers''.



After his death, his wife and daughter -fearing for their lives- packed their belongings and left for Europe. Alas, they too were killed. The story which reached our young ears was that their throats were ''slit”!! These stories continued to play havoc with my youthful imagination, and there were times when 1 felt the house was truly haunted and evil.