People were still living in this coal company housing at Mount Braddock when this photo was taken. Now the entire patch town is gone. Mount Braddock coal mine and coke ovens were opened in the late 1800s and had several owners. Probably the most well known operator of Mount Braddock was the W.J. Rainey Co., who had several other operations in the Connellsville Coal Field. From studying old Pennsylvania coal mining annual reports I believe Rainey had closed Mount Braddock by 1930. (1959 image by John Enman*)

Laura contributes this photo taken at the W.J. Rainey Company's Mt. Braddock Mine. She writes, "My great grandfather is holding the mule. Mt.Braddock Mines in the 1920s." (Image courtesy of Laura)

Hays was located between Continental No. 3 and Amend. These company houses at Hays are more like what would have been found in the West Virginia and Kentucky coalfields. (1959 image by John Enman*)

As an illustration of the wealth that was once in the Connellsville Coal Field here is the former mansion of coal baron Josiah V. Thompson. The estate was originally known as Oak Hill, but is now a Catholic monastery. (Jan. 2019 image by author)

I asked area historian Cassandra Vivian if this structure was originally the company store at Morgan. She thought that it was, but she wasn't 100% sure. Also, I have a map of coke works in the area dated 1893 and it does show a store in this approximate location. The store may have served severak of the surrounding coal and coke works, such as Frick works, Foundry, Eagle, and White. Nearby Summit mine (now Owensdale) had its own company store. (2018 image by author)

Boreholes in a field next to the Youngstown patch (background) in North Union Township are actually monitoring wells for an underground coal fire that has been burning for thirty years. (Feb. 2005 image by author)

Noreen contributed this photograph and writes, "I understand this is the Bumblebee Mine. My uncle tells me Bumblebee was located about 1/4 mile up the railroad from the Shoaf mine." (Image courtesy of Noreen)

Another great picture from Noreen, this one of Hope, Pennsylvania, which she describes, "This is Hope taken in 1932. The first building on the left is a tavern. I believe this is still standing. In the far back on the left side of the picture, you will see several 2-story white houses. These houses were on the road that would take you to Uniontown. This dirt road ended at Hope." (Image courtesy of Noreen)

Noreen sent in what is probably the only surviving photograph of the coke ovens at Hope. "My father took this picture of the Hope ovens - I recognize his handwriting on the front of the picture." (Image courtesy of Noreen)

This loadout on the edge of the city of Connellsville appears active from a distance, but on closer inspection seems idle. (Mar. 2003 image by author)

Tom sent this photo of the company store at Continental No. 3 and writes, "Continental # 3 and Newcomer are the same. The patch and the mine were built and opened in 1903. My great grandparents moved there in 1903 also. My great grandfather was killed there in a slate fall in 1908. Here is the first photo I have. It's a shot of the company store at Continental #3 which I mentioned previously was erected in 1903." (1990 HABS / HAER image)

Tom also sent this photo and added, "This photo is of the Union Supply Gas Station. I have no idea when it was built. But my grandfather owned and operated it for well over 20 years after his retirement in 1960. The house in the background of the same color is where they lived." (1990 HABS / HAER)

Derelict stripping shovel sitting on the edge of Fairchance. (Dec. 2002 image by author)

Patch houses on the left and coke oven ruins on the right at Marguerite, Pa. The town, mine, and coke works was constructed by the Standard Connellsville Coke Company in the 1897-1900 period. Naturally, the H.C. Frick Coal and Coke Co. eventually took over the operations. The King Brothers Coal & Coke Company were the last operators of the Marguerite mines, finally closing them in the 1950s. (Dec. 2002 image by author)

Coal mining in Fayette County continues into present times, as evidenced by this picture of a modern strip mine. (Image courtesy Coal and Coke Heritage Center, Penn State Eberly campus)

21st Century coal mining in the Connellsville Coke Field - high quality bituminous coal from the Redstone Seam stockpiled at the Burd Surface Mine. (Apr. 2003 image)

Donna Myers of the Dunbar, PA Historical Socitey contributed this picture, about which she writes, "Our historical society is rebuilding a coke oven from original unused stock from the Shoaf and Shamrock ovens which we purchased from the owner." It looks like they will leave the beehive part exposed for educational purposes. So a big pat on the back to the volunteers of D.H.S. (Sep. 2009 image courtesy of Dunbar Historical Society)

Later, in one of my wackier moments, I was thinking about how a beehive coke oven needs to be fired up occasionally to keep it structurally sound. So, thinking the PADEP would not notice it, I emailed the Dunbar Historical Society and offered to drive a pickup truck load of West Virginia metallurgical coal to Dunbar on a Friday afternoon, fire it up, and stay with it all weekend. On Sunday I was going to quench the coke, load it back in my truck and drive it down to Edgar Thomson and give it to them. (Where I'm sure the guard would say, "Is this a joke?") So the Historical Society considered my offer, then replied, "While I think the idea a great, our oven houses several implements and educational signage. I fear our insurance carrier would cancel our policy!!"

Remains of the Nellie coke works, built by Brown & Cochran Company in 1882. These coke ovens are located behind Vanderbilt, PA, where the Paul and Clarissa coke works were also once located. (Nov. 2006 image by author)

This overgrown house near Mount Pleasant is the last remaining patch house from the Star coal and coke works. This was originally a row of at least eleven company houses. By 1899 they were all torn down except for this one. Star was a very early operation, starting in 1871. Different owners over the years included, B. F. Coughanour, A. C. Cochran Coal & Coke Company., and McClure Coke Co. (Image and research by Cassandra Vivian)

Mount Pleasant Township. (November 2004 image by author)


*John Enman papers, 1876-2013, Coal and Coke Heritage Center at Penn State Fayette, the Eberly Campus