It seems wherever one looks throughout the Georges Creek Coalfield, he or she can still catch a glimpse of a strip mine, like this one near Mount Savage. (July 2003 image by author)

This is the concrete portal for the Hoffman Drainage Tunnel. It was originally an arched lintel where the tunnel popped out of the ground. You can see that the ground behind it has eroded away and caved in over the years. All around it is stained orange from over a century of acid mine drainage. Consolidation Coal Co. finished the tunnel in 1906. Its purpose was to drain the coal seam that had to be constantly pumped out so that it could be mined. The lintel reads, "Hoffman Drainage Tunnel, 1903 - 1906, Length 2 Miles." It is hard to believe in this day and age of environmental sensitivity that Consol was proud enough of the tunnel to proudly inscribe that in the concrete. But, in 1906, the tunnel was considered an engineering achievement and not an environmental crime. (2018 image by author)

Hoffman Hollow contains these houses built by Consolidation Coal Co. in the 1860s or 1870s. Consolidation Coal's Mine No. 3 was at Hoffman, and it was one of the first coal mines in the area to feature a bath house and ventilating fan. At it's peak approximately 500 people worked at Hoffman No. 3 mine. (2018 image by author)

These coal company homes between Hoffman and Eckhart were probably built by Consolidation Coal to house the workers of their No. 3 1/2 and No. 4 mines. (2018 image by author)

Detail of construction of a coal company house at Klondike, MD (originally called "Lord"). Klondike was the coal camp that housed families of miners at the Consolidation Coal Co. Mine No. 7, which opened in 1897. This huge mine once employed over 1000 men, who mined as much as 5,700 tons of Big Vein coal per day. It was the largest underground mine that ever existed in the Georges Creek Coalfield until its closure in 1924. In the 1907 Maryland "Mine Inspector's Annual Report" Conol's Ocean No. 7 mine was described as "the banner mine of this Company, and of the State, and perhaps of the whole country ... There is more coal mined here by machines than at any other operation in the State, in fact more than all other operations in the State taken together." (July 1981 image by Dave Dorsey, Maryland State Archives)

Remains of a small wooden coal tipple near Mount Savage that dated back to the 1930's. (Oct. 1980 image by David Dorsey, Maryland State Archives)

These homes in Mount Savage, Md. were probably once company houses. Mount Savage was more than just a coal mining town. It was established the New York Iron and Coal Company in the 1830s. At one time or another Mount Savage enterprises included iron furnaces, rolling mills, iron rail manufacturing, coal mines, brick making, fire clay mines, and locomotive maintenance. (2018 image by author)

Saint Patrick Catholic Church in Mount Savage. (2018 image by author)

The abandoned tipple of the Consolidation Coal Co. Ocean No. 1 mine. The tipple likely did not survive too many more years after this photo was taken, but a fan shaft from Ocean No. 1 was still in existence in the 1980's. It is probable that all vestiges of Ocean No. 1 mine has been reclaimed now. (1969 image by Don Biggs via Western Maryland Railway)

Ancient picture of the Ocean No. 1 colliery. Mining here began in the 1850's by the Ocean Steam Coal Co. Consolidation Coal Co. absorbed Ocean Steam Coal in the 1860's, and the mine came under Consol's ownership. Ocean No. 1 produced until the 1940's. Most people would associate the 150+ year old Consolidation Coal Co. (now Consol Energy) with Pennsylvania, but this is where they got their start. (Image by others)

Ventilation fan left over from Consolidation Coal's Ocean No. 1 Mine. (Image by David Ames, HAER, Library of Congress)

A former coal town named, Pekin, Maryland, which was laid out in 1867. Pekin may best be remembered as home to the Piedmont Mining Co. On the right side of the photo is the former Cumberland and Pennsylvania Railroad (later Western Maryland Railway). (2018 image by author)

The building on the left, which was built in the 1870s, was once the school for Pekin children. I assume that the building on the right is about the same age. (2018 image by author)

These mine ventilation ruins were still in existence when the Historical American Engineering Record photographed them, but were scheduled for demolition and reclaimation later that same year. The site is that of Consolidation Coal Company Mine No. 11, which closed in 1955. (1993 image by John Herr, Courtesy of the Historic American Engineering Record [HAER])

Detail of the Lepley Ventilator, described as "one of the few centrifugal mine ventilation fans in the eastern United States." It did not survive, however. (1993 image by John Herr, Courtesy of the Historic American Engineering Record [HAER])

The other fan that was at the site, this Aerovane fan, was manufactured by the La-Del Conveyor and Manufacturing Company and installed in 1940. (1993 image by John Herr, Courtesy of the Historic American Engineering Record [HAER])

Abandoned Phoenix Big Vein Coal Co. tipple at Phoenix, MD. This was between Barton and Franklin, and has probably been reclaimed by now. (Image courtesy Maryland State Archives)

Woodland, Md. was constructed in 1897 by Consolidation Coal Co. to house the workers of their No. 7 and No. 17 coal mines. (2018 image by author)

Old rolling stock sitting on the weedy, unused railroad in Georges Creek valley. (2018 image by author)

Yes, that is a Western Maryland Railway locomotive. (2018 image by author)

Carlos, Md. was built in 1889 by the Barton and Georges Creek Company. (2018 image by author)

Brian Ganyu writes, " I grew up in Frostburg, MD. There are traces of an abandoned railway line that run mostly parallel to route 40, down through Eckhart, Clarysville and LaVale. I often pondered the function of the remains of an old stone bridge across Wills Creek just at the western end of the Narrows. That bridge did not seem to line up with the WM line, but did join the B&O line.They eventually meet the either the Western Maryland or B&O railway line at the western end of the Narrows, and from there on to Cumberland and the C&O canal. In Clarysville, this line has full size trees now, so it was abandoned long ago. However, as a child in the 1950's I recall an occasional stoppage to wait for an engine with a car or two, as the tracks crossed route 40 in lower LaVale. From Clarysville, the line would have been the old Georges Creek & Cumberland Railroad. However, from Frostburg to Clarysville, I believe the line was part of the Cumberland & Pennsylvania (C&P) Railway, [which also went] to Ocean #3 mine. Also, I seem to recall reading that Frostburg once had trolley tracks on Main Street (Route 40) which connected into Cumberland, but I don't know if the route went through Georges Creek or the Narrows. I know I thought it might have run down through Eckhart. As a kid I remember the tunnel that ran under Main Street in Frostburg. There was a lumber car delivered through that tunnel to Nielsen's Lumber yard about once a month. But that would have been via the line that is now the Western Maryland Scenic Railway."

A small portion of the Georges Creek Coalfield extends into Somerset County, Pa.

Gob pile in Wellersburg, Pa. (2018 image by author)

Company houses on the north side of Wellersburg, PA; probably built by the Georges Creek and Bald Knob Coal Company. This company must have spent too much money building the company town; long inclined plane; tipple; and locomotive and equipment, because in 1907 it was reported, "The enormous outlay of money and seeming disregard of expense has placed this company in the hands of receivers, and what might have been a profitable operation has turned out to be a considerable waste of money." Later the Brailer Mining Co. operated the "Bald Knob Mine." This mine was reported to have been abandoned by 1926. (Google Street View image)

Another coal mine and patch town was located at Williams, Pa. This was the Glade City mine of the Savage Fire Brick Company.

A modern coal mine in Southampton Township, Somerset County, Pa. (2018 image by author)


Ware, Donna M. Green Glades & Sooty Gob Piles. Maryland Historical & Cultural Publications, 1991.