“The Avondale Disaster (II)”


A fire in the Avondale Mine kills 110 miners. Relatively few details of the disaster and rescue are given, with the focus being on the plight of the bereaved families.


Laws lists only two versions of this ballad, one of those from manuscript. The first stanza is superficially similar to "The Mines of Avondale," but differs in detail: "Come, friends and fellow Christians, and listen to my tale, And as I sing, pray drop a tear for the dead of Avondale." - RBW

Historical references

  • Sept 6, 1869 - The fire in the Avondale coal mines near Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. The fire blocked the only exit route and consumed all the oxygen in the tunnels. A total of 110 miners died, with 76 found in one ineffective shelter.

Cross references

  • cf. "The Avondale Disaster I (The Mines of Avondale)" [Laws G6] (subject)


  1. Laws G7, "The Avondale Disaster II"
  2. Gardner/Chickering 122, "The Avondale Disaster" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. DT 784, AVONDAL2
  4. Roud #3250
  5. BI, LG07


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1934 (Gardner/Chickering)
Keywords: mining disaster death
Found in: US(MA,MW)