HOPEDALE – Adena resident and local author Kerry George will be the keynote speaker at this year’s Harrison Coal & Reclamation Historical Park Dinner and Auction scheduled for May 11 at the Hopedale Social Hall.
George is the author of “Black Damp Century,” which chronicles coal mining in the eastern U.S. through the stories of two fictional families.

“Black damp” is a mining term meaning an atmosphere with little or no oxygen. His talk will focus on “The Evolution of Our Mining Heritage.” The depth of his understanding on this subject comes not only from study, but also from experience. He is a fourth-generation coalminer and has worked both underground and on the surface as a mechanic, oiler, section worker and foreman. He was also an inspector for 24 years.

Doors open at the dinner-auction at 5:30 p.m. The buffet dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. with George’s program to follow. The auction will start at 8:30 p.m. with Tom Wallace of Flushing as auctioneer. Among the items donated for auction are a 20-inch-by-30-inch framed photograph of the Silver Spade and a number of framed photos of shovels and machinery. Another featured item is a set of framed colored photographs of Consolidated Coal Co. giant earthmovers the Mountaineer, the GEM and the Silver Spade, plus coal logo glasses, Hanna Coal Co. magazines and more. Anyone wishing to donate to the auction may contact Claren Blackburn at 740-937-2460 or Dale Davis at 740-391-4135.

Tickets are $15 per person, which includes the dinner, program and auction, and may be purchased by sending a check or money order to HCHRP Inc., P.O. Box 403, Cadiz, Ohio, 43907. Tickets may also be purchased at the door.