Film Screening: Millfied Mine Disaster 1930 By Burr Beard

Millfield Film Showing Poster 2

Tecumseh Commons in the Historic Tecumseh Theater is excited to present a Documentary Film by Burr Beard chronicling the deadly Millfied Ohio Mine Disaster of 1930. As a special treat, Burr will also be showing his latest work- another 10 min. piece telling the story of Rendville, Ohio- a fascinating case of ethnic and racial integration in the early 20th Century. The event will begin at 7PM, with time for discussion and questions before as well as after the showings. Refreshment will be available. Admission is $5 at the door.

Here is what Burr had to say about the Millfield film:

“The Millfield Mine disaster is the greatest tragedy which has befallen the Hocking coal field, one of the oldest on the continent. It is appalling in its magnitude, so appalling that it has shocked the entire nation. It has stricken a district that has never known such stark tragedy, such loss of human life in a single catastrophe.” – The Athens Messenger, Nov.6, 1930

This 19 minute film was produced in 2017 under the auspices of the School of Media Arts and Studies, Scripps College of Communications at Ohio University. Its uses as its centerpiece, a rarely seen16mm silent film shot on the day of the disaster in 1930. An interview with a family member who lost men to the disaster is featured, as well as the last surviving miner of the disaster and women remembering the community on the day of the disaster.

The narrative was taken from Keeping the Home Fires Burning: A Book About the Coal Miner by Damon Watkins, 1937.

Jack Wright was narrator. The music was composed and performed by Devilish Merry

Archival film comes thanks to, Helen Horn, 1991, Justin Zimmerman 2001 and The Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections, Ohio University.

Still Images come thanks to, The Southeast Ohio History Center, Athens, Ohio, The Little Cities of the Black Diamonds, Shawnee, Ohio, The Athens Messenger, plus individual photo collections.