John Grant - Introduction
DR. ANDREA HAMMER: John, I thought we would begin with some of the more general sort of questions. Perhaps you could state your name, just for the record, and explain something of your connection with the Garrett County coal communities.
REV. JOHN GRANT: Yes, first of all, my full name is John Alexander Grant. I was born and raised here in Oakland. And I started in, my connection with the coal community, I suppose, dates back to the fact that my father was a dentist and also a member of the Rotary Club. Now, that involved two things, you see. First of all, as a dentist he had patients who were coal miners, and as a member of the Rotary Club, he also had friends who were owners of the mines. So there were two different things there.
In 1940, I started into engineering school with Johns Hopkins Engineering School in Baltimore, and part of their program, the engineering program, was that you did not get a degree unless you had done some work in the engineering field. A very natural thing for me then was to work with the mining engineer who lived right across the street from me here in Oakland, a man by the name of Milton Sincell. I worked then in the summers as a miner's helper, up at the coal mines both at Crellin and then over on the Potomac River. And that's part of my relationship with the coal mining community.
The second part of the relationship was when I came back here (to Oakland) in 1970 as an Episcopal clergyman, I had some parishioners who lived over in Crellin, who were part of the then-long gone coal mining community. The mines had already closed. I had two members of my parish who worked in the new coal mines over on the Potomac River, by the Mettiki Coal Company and then also the Island Creek Coal Company.
John Grant & Andrea Hammer
The photograph of John Grant was taken in 1941, and is labeled "Mining Engineer Helper” Banner Mine, Turner Douglas.
The interview is used with his permission.
Reverend Grant died February 3rd, 2012.
Garrett College, McHenry.
Coal miners--Maryland--History; Coal miners--West Virginia--History; Garrett County (Md.)--History; Allegany County (Md.)--History.
Western Maryland, 1930-1980