“The Welsh helped  build America by digging”

Miners For COAl

The Welsh in California

Like Ireland, one of the principle exports of Wales has long been its people. Many Welsh people went west on boats chartered to bring them to the New World, and when they arrived they had to make a living using the skills they already possessed – and in California that was principally as miners.

Before the transcontinental railroad, California needed coal to fuel its industry and provide heat. So many Welshmen arrived to work in the mines that they were able to have church services in Welsh.

One such church and community was in the coalfield in West Pittsburg at Nortonville, which is now a State Park.