The AOH Virginia State Freedom For All Ireland (FFAI) sponsored the Molly Maguire and Yuengling Brewery Tour and organized by FFAI co-chairmen Jim McLaughlin and Terry Riley. The trip started out with a private tour and tasting at the Yuengling Brewery, the oldest Brewery in America, located in Pottsville, Pa. Brothers Cooney, Doyle, Kilday and Riley represented our division. We then travelled to the Schuylkill County Jail where many of the Maguires were hung, including alleged ringleader Back Jack Kehoe.
Charismatic Irish Immigrant Black Jack Kehoe and other Hibernians were targeted by coal company owner Franklin Gowen and utilizing the Pinkerton Agency to infiltrate the AOH concocting a murderous conspiracy led by AOH members who met at Black Jack Kehoe’s Hibernian House Tavern located in Girardville, Pa. Ultimately, over 20 Hibernians were hung based on false evidence and testimony. Irish Catholic prejudice was rampant, especially against Irish involved in the labor movement and workers’ rights.
We then travelled to the Hibernian House Tavern. Our entertaining host and tour guide, Black Jack Kehoe’s grandson Joseph Wayne, seen behind the bar of his Hibernian House tavern in pictures below, provided a tour of the tour of his tavern, including AOH meeting room, and the chains and cell door that imprisoned Black Jack prior to his execution on December 18, 1878. Mr. Wayne provided extensive background on the Maguire story. Mr. Wayne obtained a pardon for Black Jack Kehoe from the governor of Pa. on the 100th anniversary of his execution. Joseph Wayne is currently the President of the AOH Black Jack Kehoe Division 1. Great time.