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Coal Miners Memorial Curtisville Mines, Curtisville, West Deer Twp., Allegheny Co., PA


Coal Mines of Allegheny Co., PA MAIN INDEX
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Curtisville No. 1 Mine
(Benjamin Mine),
Curtisville No. 2 Mine
(Frances Mine),
Curtisville No. 3 Mine
(Berry Mine),

Curtisville,
West Deer Twp.,
Allegheny County,
Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

A Tribute to the Coal Miners that mined the Bituminous Coal seams of the Curtisville Mines, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

Compiled & Edited by
Raymond A. Washlaski

Raymond A. Washlaski, Historian, Editor,
Ryan P. Washlaski, Technical Editor,

Updated Sept. 28, 2009

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Curtisville No. 1 Mine
(Benjamin Mine)
(Ford Collieries No. 1 Mine)
(ca.1909-   ?    ),
Located on the Bessemer & Lake Erie Railroad, Benjamin / Curtisville, Curtisville No. 1, West Deer Twp., Allegheny Co., PA
Owners: (ca.1909-  ?  ), Ford Collieries Company, Curtisville, PA
             (ca.1920-   ?  ), Ford Collieries Company, Curtisville, PA
             (ca.1928-  ?   ), Ford Collieries Company, Curtisville, PA
             (ca.1945-  ?   ), Ford Collieries Company, Curtisville, PA

Curtisville No. 2 Mine
(Frances Mine)
(Ford Collieries No. 2 Mine)
(ca.1909-   ?    ),
Located on the Bessemer & Lake Erie Railroad, Curtisville, Curtisville No. 2, West Deer Twp., Allegheny Co., PA
Owners: (ca.1909-    ?  ), Ford Collieries Company Curtisville, PA 
              (ca.1920-   ?  ), Ford Collieries Company, Curtisville, PA
              (ca.1945-   ?  ), Ford Collieries Company, Curtisville, PA

Curtisville No. 3 Mine
(Berry Mine)
(Ford Collieries No. 3 Mine)
(ca.   ?    ),
Located on the Bessemer & Lake Erie Railroad, Curtisville, Bairdford, West Deer Twp., Allegheny Co., PA
Owners: (ca.     ?         ),   ?
              (ca.1920-  ?  ), Ford Collieries Company, Curtisvile, PA
              (ca.1945-  ?  ), Ford Collieries Company, Curtisville, PA

From the Report of the Dept. of Mines of Pennsylvania, 1909.
Ford Collieries Company.
Francis and Benjamin Mines.  The erection of these plants begun last April.  The hoist shafts and slopes were sunk and manways driven and tipples and many outside buildings have been erected.  These shafts have all modern improvements.  Shafts are 10 feet x 16 feet; slopes 6 foot x 16 feet, and air shafts, 10 feet x 10 feet.

Curtisville No. 1 Mine (Benjamin Mine)
Curtisville No. 2 Mine (Francis Mine.)

1909 Curtisville Shafts are dug and town is being built by the Michigan Alkali Company, under the Ford Collieries name.

Curtisville No. 1 Mine was to be the first and largest of the Ford Collieries Company Communities. As such it was to contain certain buildings and facilities not to be found in the other Ford Collieries company patch towns. The majority of these buildings were dwellings or offices for special personnel who were to provide certain services for all the Ford Collieries communities. These would include medical, police, fire protection, house maintenance, and others.

Contracting firms were hired to sink the mine shafts and built the first group of company houses. Later, company carpenters would complete the town, but first it would be necessary to have a number of houses constructed so that workers could be moved in.

This Curtisville No. 1 Mine, named the Benjamin Mine by Ford Collieries, had a valley location. Only a short railroad spur was necessary to join the main line of the Bessemer & Lake Erie Railroad. The mine plant itself, was placed in the valley bottom, dividing the lands owned by the company. The major portion of the town was to be built on a triangular-shaped hillside between the mine and the main railroad. The administrative center was at the apex of this triangle. It overlooked the mine valley and was near the railroad, the only good transportation around.

Captain Shoaf was the engineer responsible for the layout and building of the town of Curtisville. Shoaf Street bears his name.

Bairdford (Berry Mine - Curtisville No. 3 Mine)

Bairdford is a mining community of about 175 houses of which about 130 were former company houses. This company patch town, sometimes referred to as Curtisville No. 3, was an outgrowth of the Ford Collieries expansion of the two other Curtisvilles and had been planned from the beginning of their operations as their Berry No. 3 mine.

(Thanks to Ken Lewetag for the above information on Curtisville Mines.)

Benjamin Mine Portal ca.1909
Mine workers posed at the Benjamin Mine (Curtisville No. 1 Mine) portal unconstruction. Len Schwab is under the X of the photo. Ernest J. Lewetag (Dutch) is second from the left.
(Photo courtesy of Dave Mathewson and Ken Lewetag.)
Ford Collieries No. 1 Mine (Benjamin Mine)
Benjamin, Curtisville, Pa

(Photo courtesy of Ken Lewetag.)

"Coal Miners Memorial, Curtisville Mines,
Curtisville, West Deer Twp., Allegheny County, Pennsylvania"

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P.O. Box 519, Uniontown, PA  15401

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