Secrets in the Mist is the true story of Brown’s Island a small island in the Ohio River between the states of Ohio and West Virginia. On December 15, 1972, a horrific explosion shook the construction site of a state of the art coking facility being built for Weirton Steel. Residents on both sides of the reiver felt the reverberations. The ensuing dire and destruction took the lives of nineteen men.
After talking to over a hundred people, Jane Kraina and Mary Zwierzchowski, found intriguing accounts from a variety of workers on the island that fateful misty day, and heroes who gave their own lives while helping to retrieve their fellow laborers. Over half of the workers were young, leaving small children behind.
The industrial plant on the island was just one example of the island’s mirror of American times. That year 1 million workers joined the Electrical Union. The area within 20 miles of the island held ancient artifacts, some over 16,000 years old. Carnegie Mellon Institute of Technology carbon dated artifacts from a hearth on island at 1200 A.D. The authors trace the history of the island in the 1800s and 1900s. Through diaries and books about the agricultural development of the island, they bring the island to life as it transforms from a slave owning area to independent farmers.
As America entered the industrial era, entrepreneurs saw the island’s possibilities. After the growth of Weirton Steel due to massive production related to WWII, the company purchased the island with the ideas of storage, dredging and expansion of its coke production. The cause of the accident drew much speculation and theories are offered, including the most likely scenario.
This book commemorates the nineteen men who lost their lives 50 years ago.
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