"FAREWELL 1899! WELCOME 1900!" was the headline in the Pottsville Republican on January 1, 1900. The people of Pottsville ushered in the new century in the usual manner with noisy gatherings and crowded churches. Coal was king in Schuylkill County during the nineteenth century, but the demise of the coal industry had already begun by 1900. Bitter strikes between coal operators and miners, especially the great strike of 1902, caused consumers to find other fuels and forced Pottsville to re-create its economy and identity.However, residents adapted swiftly, and it was not long before Pottsville had seven volunteer fire companies, the second-finest courthouse in the state, a first-class hospital, twenty-three churches, a $100,000 YMCA building, a public mission, a free kindergarten, twelve fine schoolhouses, two parochial schools, and a free public library. Pottsville in the Twentieth Century celebrates the town's changes and accomplishments throughout the 1900s.
Leo L. Ward, president of the Historical Society of Schuylkill County, and Mark T. Major, executive director of the Schuylkill County Visitors Bureau, have compiled this memorable history from the society's extensive vintage photograph collection. Ward and Major are also the authors of Pottsville, Schuylkill County, and Schuylkill County Volume II.