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MISC. CONNELLSVILLE FIELD

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Pleasant Unity Mine 20
This patch town was built circa 1917 to house the workers of Jamison Coal and Coke's No. 20 mine near Pleasant Unity, Pa. (Image from a 1927 Keystone Coal Catalog)

Hazlett beehive coke ovens
Ruins of the Hazlett coke yard on the edge of Mount Pleasant Borough. These are some of the oldest coke oven ruins in Westmoreland County, being built in 1871 by Boyle & Hazlett Company. McClure Coke Co. operated the ovens in the 1880s. H.C. Frick Coal and Coke were the final owners of the Hazlett coke yard, which probably did not operate very far into the 20th Century. (Jan. 2003 image by author)

If anyone is interested, the ruins of the Buckeye coke works are about a half a mile up the tracks from the Hazlett ovens, although they are in very poor condition.

HC Frick Coke Co. map
Frick Coke Co. map dated 1893 showing the location of the Hazlett coke yard in relation to Mount Pleasant Boro in the upper right. (Image scanned from a map loaned to author by US Steel Mineral Resources, Uniontown)

Baggaley Pennsylvania company store
Company store and patch town at Baggaley, PA, built in 1897 at the northern end of the Connellsville Coke Field by the Puritan Coke company. Of course H.C. Frick Coke eventually ended up operating it and they closed the coal mine and coke works at Baggaley in 1922. (May 2003 image by author)

Baggaley Pennsylvania coal patch town
This photo of Baggaley is over a century old. (Circa 1912 American Iron and Steel Institute image via Google Books)

York Run fan house
This fan house between Shoaf and York Run was probably from the Smiley coal mine. (Nov. 2002 image by author)

U.S. Steel Mount Braddock coal mine
Here are the remains of the last major coal mine in Fayette County: US Steel's Mount Braddock mine, which closed in the mid 1980s. There was no processing plant there, as the direct ship coal was taken to the Robena plant and blended there. They later leased the facility to another company to gob out the last of the coal barrier, but it was idle at the time of this photograph. These structures were still standing well into the 21st Century, but have been demolished now. (Dec. 2002 image by author)

Owensdale Pennsylvania coal patch town
Ownensdale, Pa., a coal and coke town originally named "Summit." The Summit coke yard was constructed as a Cochran concern in 1874. H.C. Frick had nearly 150 ovens in blast there around 1880. In the background is the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad trestle. (Feb. 2003 image by author)

Kyle coal mine horse stable
Horses and mules that worked in the Kyle mine run wild from their stables in this circa 1940 photograph. Not too many years later the beasts of burden disappeared from the mines, replaced by modern machinery. (Image courtesy Coal and Coke Heritage Center, Penn State Eberly campus)

Carpentertown Pennsylvania coal patch town
A different style of company-built patch housing at Carpentertown, PA., This coal and coke operation, built in 1901 by the Mount Pleasant-Connellsville Coke Company, was one of the last to be constructed in the Mt. Pleasant to Latrobe section of the Connellsville Coke Field. Other nearby mines named "Carpentertown" were owned by Sharon Steel in the 1960s. (Dec. 2002 image by author)

Pennsylvania Railroad bridge abutment
This bridge abutment on Jacobs Creek is one of the last remnants of the Mount Pleasant Branch of the Pennsylvania Railroad. In the background can be discerned the old rail bed of the spur that went up to the big coke yards at Bessemer and Morewood (Southwest Nos. 1 and 2). Now this is part of the Coal and Coke walking trail. (Feb. 2003 image by author)

Bessemer Pennsylvania coal patch town
The last vestige of the Bessemer patch on the edge of the shopping center between Mount Pleasant and Scottdale. The Bessemer coke plant and coal mine were opened in 1878 by C. P. Markle & Sons Coal Company. I am not sure when Bessemer shut down, but in 1900 it was reported that mining of the final section of the Bessemer mine had begun. (Mar. 2003 image by author)

Bessemer Pennsylvania coal company house
Detail of the rubblestone foundation of one of the company built houses at Bessemer. (Mar. 2003 image by author)

Coalbrook Pennsylania coal patch town
Here is the Coalbrook patch town, opened in 1879 (although these houses might have been built later). J.R. Torrence, and later McClure Coke Co., owned and operated Coalbrook in later years. Of course, Frick finally muscled in and was the final owner. The mine closed in 1918. (Dec. 2002 image by author)

Grace Pennsylvania beehive coke ovens
These coke ovens up the track from Coalbrook were the Grace coke yard, and are among the oldest coke oven ruins in Fayette County, being built in 1875. John Moyer was operating Grace in 1880. A later operator was W.J. Rainey. The mine closed in 1927. The area is also known as Moyer. (Dec. 2002 image by author)

Pennsylvania coke ovens map
1893 Frick Coke Co. map showing most of the Grace ovens. The patch town on the hill above the ovens is gone now, and there is a gun club there. Also, the Pennsville ovens, built in 1872, were near the present day site of the Everson exit of Route 119. Today there are only a few remanants of ovens at Pennsville coke yard (behind the Pennsville Professional Center). (Image scanned from a map loaned to author by US Steel Mineral Resources, Uniontown)

Pennsville Pennsylvania beehive coke ovens
Only the scantiest remnants remain of the Pennsville coke ovens in northern Fayette County. (Feb. 2003 image by author)

Uniontown Pennsylvania coal mine ruins
Remains of Stern Coal Company's Ball Mine, also known as the County Home Mine, on the edge of Uniontown. (Dec. 2002 image by author)

H.C. Frick Connellsville
A postcard of Frick's Davidson coke works on the edge of Connellsville. (Image courtesy Coal and Coke Heritage Center, Penn State Eberly campus)

McClure Pennsylvania coal company house
This company-built house is the last remnant of the coal patch of McClure in Upper Tyrone Township. Everyone focuses on the many H.C. Frick Coke Co. operations in the Connellsville Coke Field, but McClure Coke Co. was Frick's biggest competitor before 1900. Both the Painter coke yard and the Diamond coke yard were at McClure, the former being built in 1871 by Col. Isreal Painter and acquired by McClure Coke Co. in 1878. The Diamond coke works were originally operated by Lomison & Stauft. Two coke works, a whole patch town, and nothing left but this one house. (Feb. 2003 image by author)

Adelaide Pennsylvania coal mine
Sealed up mine entry at Adelaide, named after Frick's wife. (Image ourtesy Coal and Coke Heritage Center, Penn State Eberly Campus)

Oliver Pennsylvania coal company town
The Oliver patch in 1995. Oliver is named for the company that built it - Oliver and Snyder steel. (Image courtesy Coal and Coke Heritage Center, Penn State Eberly campus)

Pennsylvania slate dump
Call them gob piles, slate dumps, or bony piles, (or culm banks in the Anthracite coalfields) but they are the results of coal mining and coke making down through the years, and they still can be found throughout the Connellsville Field. As they are reclaimed, however, their numbers become fewer every year. (Image courtesy Coal and Coke Heritage Center, Penn State Eberly campus)

Leith Pennsylvania coal patch town
The coal and coke companies encouraged their employees to grow gardens in the yards of their company homes, such as this one in a colorized photo from Leith, Pa. (Circa 1912 American Iron and Steel Institute image via Google Books)

From a April 24, 1900 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette item titled "Leaped Into A Coke Oven" - Early this morning coke workers along the Morgan yard of the plant of the H.C. Frick Coke Company saw standing on the edge of the coke ovens a tall and haggard man. As the workers gazed, he deliberately walked to the red rim of the trunnel head, looked in, and with a last gesture of farewell, directed as to heaven, brushed back his hat from his forehead and leaped into the coke oven. A flame of unusual brilliancy and length shot up through the trunnel opening, and the workmen ran to the oven. Tearing down the clay and brick doors they could see the body within the glowing furnace, writhing and seething. When the body was taken out it was unrecognizable. So far there has been no identification.


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