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SOUTHWEST, PA (HECLA NO. 1 & NO. 3)

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Many (most?) of the mining families grew gardens behind their company house to feed their families. In this old picture of a garden in the Hecla patch the colliery is visible in the background. (Circa 1912 American Iron and Steel Institute image via Google Books)


Coke ovens from the Hecla No. 3 operations, which, along with Hecla No. 1, was also known as Southwest, PA. (Hecla No. 2 was at Trauger.) (Dec. 2002 image by author)


This coke oven at Hecla No. 3 is a good illustration of how the beehive coke oven got its name. (Jan. 2002 image by author)


Part of the patch at Hecla No. 1. The Thaw and Dorsey Coal and Coke Co. opened Hecla No. 1 in 1882. (June 2002 image by author)


This coke oven at Hecla still has it's trunnel hole,through which the larry cars loaded the coal into the oven. H.C. Frick Coke Co. took over operations of Hecla No. 1 and No. 3 in 1905. Frick closed the Hecla coal mines and coke ovens in the late 1920's. (Jan. 2002 image by author)


A few of the bigger, multi-family patch houses. The large blue one may have been a boarding house. (Sep. 2009 image by author)


Although the school building at Hecla has fallen into disrepair, someone still mows the grass around it. (Sep. 2009 image by author)


One of the gob piles still remains from the Hecla No. 1 operation. (Sep. 2009 image by author)


View of a portion of the Hecla patch from the top of the gob pile. Steel rails may have been from the "slate" disposal system. (Sep. 2009 image by author)


A July 1922 issue of Coal Age contained an article about the Frick company's innovative mine disposal system. This photo of the slate dumps at Hecla was in the article. The tipple and town are in the background. (1922 Coal Age image via Google Books)


Rail-mounted refuse dump car from the same article. (Could these be part of the rails seen in the 2009 picture above?) The magazine wrote, "A self-dumping car is drawn up the steeply graded slate dump which it has gradually accumulated. At the top of the dump is an open-rail platform from which the slate is discharged. This dock is supported at its rear end by the slate pile and at the forward end by a single trestle bent [steel support]." (1922 Coal Age image via Google Books)


Engineering diagram of Frick Company's refuse disposal car. These dumps were called slate dumps, bony piles, gob piles, mine refuse dumps, and, in the anthracite coalfields, culm banks. They all mean the same thing. (1922 Coal Age image via Google Books)


The following pictures of Hecla mine ruins were taken by Kris Loveridge in 2013 while walking in the woods near a part of Hecla formerly known as Goat Hill:








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