Ashland, Pennsylvania is in Schuylkill (school-kill) County in the heart of coal country. They even have a museum, Pioneer Tunnel Coal Mine Museum
dedicated to the borough's first major industry.
This storefront window display was captured just before Valentine's Day, 2012.
Sadly, there isn't much industry left in coal country these days. What remains is the legacy of fanciful buildings created by a proud and creative people. Storybook turrets and fanciful colors war with yawning, vacant storefronts. But there is life here, and a rich, proud heritage. No one here is looking for a handout. One can't help but sense though, that for a community that gave so much in sweat, blood and spirit to build the foundations of our country, they are being pushed into the backwater of history.
I'd like to imagine that these old storefronts will one day be filled by enterprising entrepreneurs who see, not decay, but opportunity. Surely I am not the only one who sees these graceful places and feels the excitement of a possibility ready to be realized.
There's gold in these buildings, if we only have the courage to mine for it.
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