Tragedy struck Smithtown, Pennsylvania in December, 1907 when 239 men and boys died in a mining explosion. The Darr Mine disaster was caused by miners carrying open lamps in mismarked areas and was one of the worst mining tragedies in Pennsylvania history.
A few years later, on July 4th, 1921, an orphanage was opened in the nearby town of Ligonier by the Hungarian Reformed Federation of America. The Federation was founded in Trenton, NJ in 1896 and continues to work out the Kossuth House in Washington DC. Soon after the opening of the first orphanage, The Federation purchased the Park Hotel (as it was known at the time) near Ligioner to expand the orphanage’s facilities for the children and their caregivers.
The orphanage was christened the “Bethlen Home”, which is now located on “Moriah Mountain” overlooking the town of Ligioner on Kalassay Drive. Since then, the care facilities have vastly expanded establishing “Bethlen Communities” in the surrounding area which provide retirement care community. The Bethlen Communities are supported by the Kalassay Society which provides economic and representative help to the retirement care; they also seek to uphold the Hungarian-American values they were founded on.
If you want more stories, subscribe to our YouTube channel or read our articles about Hungarian memorial sites around the world.