[Mine was first called Westmoreland Shaft Mine]
Located on Biddle Road, North side of PA Rte. 993, along the Pennsylvania Railroad Mainline, Biddle, Biddle Station, a section of Westmoreland City, Westmoreland City, North Huntingdon Twp., Westmoreland Co., PA
Owners: (ca.1872-1955), Westmoreland Coal Company, Irwin, PA
Westmoreland Shaft Mine
|U.S.G.S. Topographic 15 Min. Greensburg Quadrangle Map.
Showing the location of Biddle, on the eastern side of Westmoreland City,
North Huntingdon Twp., Westmoreland Co., PA
(Map courtesy of the U.S. Geological Survey, Washington, D.C.)
Visible from U.S. Interstate 76 (Pennsylvania Turnpike), some of the town of Biddle has been demolished. The Biddle Mine Complex has been demolished. The Biddle Mine complex was located where the Pennsylvania Turnpike, U.S. Interstate 76, crosses PA Route 993, between Shafton and Westmoreland City. Surviving are the company store and most of the company-built houses.
The company store is a two-story wood-frame building with aluminum siding covering the original clapboard exterior. The building measures 63 ft. x 26 ft. and contains a gable roof and a concrete-block foundation. Now serving as the SNF Lodge (Serbian Club), the building has had numerous alterations and an addition.
The town's residences include a large eight-bay dwelling house containing four apartments; it has horizontal wood siding, two-and-a-half stories, a gable roof covered with slate, and four brick chimneys. The town also contains several two-story wood-frame double houses with clapboard siding, gable roofs, brick chimneys and concrete, stone, and hollow-clay block foundations.
The Glagola house, one of the original company-built house, was torn down approx. two years ago. The house retained the original clap-board siding, with the expection of some remodeling on the inside, it retained its original appearance.
The remaining company-built houses have been remodeled and renovated over the years by some of the original owners and by their decendants.
|The Westmoreland Shaft Mine (Biddle Mine) ca.1912
The Westmoreland Shaft Mine complex, located alog the Pennsylvania Railroad Mainline, between Shafton and Westmoreland City.
(Photo courtesy of Cryus Hosmer II, of Irwin, and the Tribune-Review "Focus Magazine," Greensburg, PA)
The Westmoreland Coal Company opened the Westmoreland Shaft Mine (Biddle Mine) and constructed the company town of Biddle near Westmoreland City in 1872. The town was named after E.C. Biddle, second president of the Westmoreland Coal Company from 1854 to 1884. The 200 ft. deep shaft mine was situated at the lowest point in the Irwin Coal Basin, and flooding of the mine tunnels became an increasingly serious problem that prompted the company to construct a water-pumping plant to remove the water. For each ton of coal mined, 50.5 tons of water had to be removed. Mine refuse, mostly slate, was hoisted through the shaft to the tipple where it was diverted by an aerial tramway to a refuse pile. The mine employed 460 men in ca.1904 producing 439,000 tons of coal in 300 days in 1904.
By 1910 Westmoreland Coal Company owned the Citerion Mine, Export No. 1 Mine and Export No. 2 Mine, the Larimer Mine, the Westmoreland Shaft Mine (Biddle Mine), and the Magee Mine Mine, all in Westmoreland County. By the mid-1920's the Biddle Mine employed 234 persons who produced nearly 263,000 tons of coal. Flooding eventually forced the Westmoreland Coal Company to close the Biddle Mine in 1955.
|Miners at Biddle Mine
These Biddle miners were photographed around ca.1935, in front of the Biddle Mine Pump House, after a ten hour day in the mine. (L. to R.) John De Zorzi, Louis De Zorzi, unidentified, Ben Susin, unidentified.
(Photo courtesy of William De Zorzi, from "Who We Are," Norwin Chamber of Commerce.)
|My grandfather worked as a guard in the
Biddle, Pa. mine (Westmoreland shaft Mine, Westmoreland City, Pa). My
grandparents lived in Biddle, a company town, created by the Westmoreland
Coal Co. As a young boy (I was born in 1947) I recall going to the company
store (which is the site of the local Serbian Club today). I teach, but also
work as a free-lance writer and wish to find as much information as possible
(including photos) about that company store, which was operated by Bill Milburn.
| "Coal Miners Memorial,
Biddle Mine (Westmoreland Shaft Mine),
North Huntingdon Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania"
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