Pittsburgh Pennsylvania coal field
Pittsburgh is probably the largest American city to have had coal mining occur within the municipal boundaries of the city. As late as 2003 someone was trying to obtain a permit to strip coal in the Hays section of Pittsburgh. Then, in 2006, coal was uncovered during a construction project in the Hill District overlooking downtown. The city asked Amerikohl Mining Company to evaluate mining and selling the estimated 35,000 - 40,000 tons of coal, but it is not clear whether this actually happened or not. (Sep. 2004 image by author)

Coal mine on South Side of Pittsburgh
19th Century picture of a coal-to-barge tipple on the South Side of Pittsburgh. The coal loaded at this tipple was actually mined at Banksville and brought up Little Sawmill Run by rail. (Image source lost)

This row of coal company housing on the bank of the Monongahela River originally housed the miners of the Catsburg Mine. Catsburg Coal Co. operated this coal mine in the late 1800s. A later owner of the Catsburg mine was the Monongahela River Consolidated Coal & Coke Company, part of the Jones family of coal mining companies. (Nov. 2003 image by author)

Bunola coal mine lamp house
This building in Forward Township is at the former location of the Bunola Shaft of the Mongah Mine, and probably served as a lamp house. The Mongah Mine was a property of the Monongahela River Consolidated Coal & Coke Company, and later the Pittsburgh Coal Company. (Apr. 2015 image by author)

Pittsburgh Coal Co. tipple
Coal tipple at the Pittsburgh Coal Company's First Pool Mine No. 2. (Image from a 1927 Keystone Coal Catalog)

Mathies coal mine Courtney Pennsylvania
The Mathies mine near New Eagle, PA, which opened in 1944, was said to be the last bituminous coal mine in Pennsylvania to use rail haulage to bring the coal out of the mine. The mine cars are shown here shortly after the mine's closing in 2002. The mine's closing was sudden and resulted in the unemployement of 150 employees. Then the electricity to the mine pumps was shut off, and the rumor is that the longwall mining machine was submerged and ruined. (2002 image courtesy of Ray Mercado)

Mathies coal mine portal
Mon Valley Mining's Mathies mine portal. A fire in the mine in 1990 closed it down for a few years.(2002 image courtesy of Ray Mercado)

Mathies underground coal cars
A closer look at the underground locomotive cars used to haul the coal out of the Mathies mine, with the coal unloading building in the background. (Jan. 2003 image by author)

Mathies coal preparation plant
The Mathies Mine preparation plant in 2003 - now demolished. (Jan. 2003 image by author)

Mathies coal barge loadout on Monongahela River
Mathies Mine's barge loadout on the Monongahela River. (Jan. 2003 image by author)

Overall view of the idled coal preparation facility of the Mathies Mine. The smoke is from the powerplant next door. There was no company built housing that I am aware of for the workers of the Mathies mine. Mon-View Mining purchased the Mathies mine in 1994 from National Steel. The big steel companies - National, US Steel, Republic, J&L, Weirton, Crucible, and Youngstown Sheet & Tube - all owned coal mines up and down the Monongahela River, and it was a way of life in the Mon Valley to see barges of coal from their captive mines going down the river to the mills and coke ovens. (Bethlehem Steel didn't own mines in the Monongahela valley; Wheeling Steel's mines were in the Allegheny River valley.) This way of life that some probaby thought would go on forever lasted from the 1920s until the 1990s. Although coal barges can still be spotted on the river, what's left of "Big Steel" no longer owns coal properties. (Jan. 2003 image by author)

Pittsburgh Consolidation Coal Co. preparation plant
A picture of the Mathies mine preparation plant when it was new and owned by the Pittsburgh Consolidation Coal Co. (Image courtesy West Virginia and Regional History Collection, West Virginia University Libraries)

coal mine portal
This portal for the Mathies mine is up the hollow from New Eagle. It is shown here as it looked in 2003. (Oct. 2003 image by author)

This was the bathhouse for the Mathies mine. (Image courtesy of Tom Strong)

The Mathies mine unloading building. (Image courtesy of Ron Franko)

The turnover car dumper in the Mathies unloading building. (Image courtesy of Ron Franko)

Cars at Mathies still full of coal. (Image courtesy of Ron Franko)

Montour 2 coal mine patch town
Company built housing for the miners of the Pittsburgh Coal Company's Montour No. 2 mine, in Cecil Township. (May 2003 image by author)

Venetia Pennsylvania coal mine
This tipple was in Venetia, PA many years ago. Could this have been the Eclipse mine? (Image courtesy McClure Sales, Inc.)

Blaine Pennsylvania coal company town
One can still find the Blaine patch and gob pile on the hill above Elizabeth, PA, Allegheny County. The operator of the Blaine mine was, surprise, the Blaine Coal Company. (Nov. 2003 image by author)

Monongahela Valley coal mine
This sealed mine entry on the Monongahela River in Forward Township, Allegheny County was an entry into the Bakewell mine, which was opened in 1847 by a gentleman named James Manown. An 1884 report on the mine stated, "The coal was run from the pit mouth into the boats at the river by means of a large and small chute. A screen was placed in the small chute next to the boats. The lump coal was the only portion loaded for market, and the slack, or the portion that passes through the screen, was cast aside as worthless." This is an example of an early coal mining operation that was operated by an independent owner and his small mining crew, as opposed to the larger coal companies that dominated the Appalachian coal trade later. (Nov. 2003 image by author)

Jacobs Creek Pennsylvania coal patch town
The coal mining town of Jacobs Creek sits on the banks of the Youghiogheny River, and these miner's houses and company store are still there today. These structures were built in the 1870s, and that makes them some of the oldest coal company housing in Western Pennsylvania. Coal companies to operate the mines at Jacobs Creek included Fox Kifer & Aspey Coal Co., Waverly Coal and Coke, and the Pittsburgh Consolidation Coal Company, who finally closed the mines in the early 1960s. (Nov. 2003 image by author)

Clairton Pennsylvania coke ovens plant
Saturday evening at U.S. Steel's Clairton coke works, which has baked umpteen million tons of coal into coke since 1918. (Nov. 2003 image by author)

Clairton Pennsylvania coke plant
Clairton coke plant at night. (Oct. 2003 image by author)

Pittsburgh Coal Company Champion Prep Plant
A vintage scene at the Pittsburgh Coal Company's Champion coal washing plant near Imperial, PA. (Image source lost)

This antique picture shows the picking table at the Champion plant. This means of cleaning coal with human hands is now obsolete. (Image source lost)

Pittsburgh Coal Company abandoned coal tipple
The Champion prep plant as it looked in 1985 after its closure. (Image by Gene Scheaffer, courtesy of Mark Mamros)

Francis coal patch town near Burgettstown
Here is part of the Francis coal patch, which was built around 1900 by the Pittsburgh Buffalo Coal Co., the same concern that constructed Marianna, PA in the Klondike Field. Like most of the coal mines in the Burgettstown area, not much survives from the mining structures, though large refuse piles radiate out in all directions from Burgettstown. (Mar. 2004 image by author)

Cherry Valley Pennsylvania coal patch town
There are a few patch houses left at Cherry Valley, which was a mining town for the workers of Pittsburgh & Eastern Coal Company's No. 1 mine. (Mar. 2004 image by author)

H.C. Frick Coke Co. Squaw Mine
I went down to Dunlevy, Pa. looking for U.S. Steel / H.C. Frick Coke Company's old Squaw Mine and all I found was the mine portal covered over with dirt at "Coal Street." (Apr. 2015 image by author)

H.C. Frick Coke Co. Squaw Mine
Then I went to find the Squaw patch and found one old coal company house on "Frick Street." Sometimes the only things remaining of a mine or mining town are street names. (Apr. 2015 image by author)



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