|Euclid Mine & Coke Works
(Youghiogheny Shaft Mine & Coke Works) (ca.1890-1946),
Located on the east bank of Youghiogheny River, on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, at Fitzhenry (Port Royal), South Huntingdon Twp., Westmoreland Co., PA
[Formerly called Youghiogheny Shaft Mine & Coke Works, built by the Ohio & Pennsylvania Coal Company ca.1890. Name changed to Euclid Mine ca.1895]
Owners: (ca.1890-1899) Ohio & Pennsylvania Coal Company
(ca.1899-1945) Pittsburgh Coal Company, Pittsburgh, PA
(ca.1945-1946) Pittsburgh Consolidation Coal Company, Pittsburgh , PA
In ca.1994, most of the houses in the town of Fritzhenry are located on a hill above the Youghiogheny River. The main road, Fritzhenry Street, is lined with eighteen company-built houses. These include ten two-story wood-frame double houses (the standard miners' house in this area of western Pennsylvania), a large two-story wood-frame boarding house, and seven two-story wood-frame single-family houses. The boarding house has a front gable roof and retains much of its original appearance.
The town of Fritzhenry, in ca.1994, also contained the Mount Olive Church, a one-story wood-frame building with a gable roof. Along the Youghiogheny River, below the town, stands boss's row, consisting of five residential buildings and a former schoolhouse. The southermost house is a two-story stone building and may hve been constructed as early as the ca.1850's. It reportedly served as a farmhouse but was later taken over by the coal operator at Fritzhenry. North of the stone house is the superintendent's house, a large two-story wood-frame building, with a gable roof. Next to the superintendent's house is a one story brick building with a gable roof. This was built about ca.1890 and served as a schoolhouse. North of the former schoolhouse stands two wood-framed double houses, each containing two stories and brick chimneys. The company store was destroyed by a fire and none of the structures relating to the mining complex are extant.
As early as 1883 the Port Royal Coal & Coke Company opened a shaft-entry mine on farmland along the Youghiogheny River, south of Fitzhenry called the Port Royal Mine. The Port Royal Coal & Coke Company constructed dwellings for its workers at Fritzhenry, which was also called Port Royal. J. M. Owens served as superintendent of the Port Royal Mine and its forty workers. By 1886 the company employed fifty-five miners at Fritzhenry and was led by H. C. Marshall.
The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad served the Port Royal Mine. The mine was idled for several months in 1886 by the coal miners strike. That year, despite the work stoppage, Port Royal miners produced over 32,000 tons of coal in 1886. At this time miners as Fritzhenry used picks and shovels to remove the extract the coal. However, in 1886 Port Royal Coal & Coke Company installed as air compressor so that pneumatically powered mining machines could be used in the mine. By 1890 Isaac Brown was superintendent of the Port Royal Mine at Fritzhenry. Near the mine was the Port Royal Coke Works, operated by the prot Royal Coal & Coke Company. The coke works contained sixty bee-hive coke ovens. In 1890 the mine produced about 74,000 tons of coal and the coke works produced about 15,000 tons of coke. Eighty-two miners were employed by the Port Royal Coal & Coke Company at Fritzhenry.
About 1880 a second mining company commenced operations just north of Fitzhenry. This was the Ohio & Pennsylvania Coal Company, led by James Watkins. The company opened a shaft-entry mine and named it the Youghiogheny Shaft Mine. The mine employed seventy-six miners. In 1890 miners at Youghiogheny Shaft Mine produced about 37,000 tons of coal. The Youghiogheny Shaft Coke Works, containing twenty-five bee-hive coke ovens, produced just over 3,000 tons of coke. Most of the coal produced at the Youghiogheny Shaft Mine was not coked on site, but instead was shiped to market.
Among the many companies acquired soon after the formation of the giant Pittsburgh Coal Company in 1899 was the Ohio & Pennsylvania Coal Company and the Port Royal Coal & Coke Company. Holdings included the Port Royal No. 1 Mine at Fritzhenry & Port Royal No. 2 Mine at Cedar Creek, and the Euclid Mine, formerly known as the Youghiogheny Shaft Mine. Apparently, in the late 1890's, the Ohio & Pennsylvania Coal Company improved its operations at Fritzhenry and constructed a new shaft which it named the Euclid Mine.
Pittsburgh Coal Company ran the Euclid Mine in Conjuction with the old coke works that was built with the Youghiogheny Shaft Mine. However, little of the coal produced in the Euclid Mine was coked at Fritzhenry; most of it was shipped by rail to market. In 1900 the shaft-entry Euclid Mine employed 134 miners who produced 128,000 tons of coal. The twenty-five bee-hive coke ovens were in operation only a small part of the year, producing 6,000 tons of coke annually. Pittsburgh Coal Company also ran the Port Royal No. 1 Mine and coke works. This operation employed 155 miners who produced about 92,000 tons of ocla. The Port Royal Coke Works, which contained sixty-one bee-hive coke ovens, produced about 18,000 tons of coke.
The condition of the Euclid Mine, of the Pittsburgh Coal Company, as noted in the 1909 Report of the Department of Mines was: Ventilation and drainage good. Improved water-cars are used to lay the dust; the exhaust steam from a pump is also turned into the intakes. Permissible explosives used in parts of the mine, and it is recommended that these explosives by used exclusively. Fifty safety lamps in use.
By 1910 William Blower served as superintendent at Fritzhenry for Pittsburgh Coal Company. the company had ceased operating the Port Royal Mines south of Fritzhenry, and was running only the the Euclid Mine. Nearly 400 miners worked at the Euclid Mine and Coke Works, most of whom were employed in the Euclid Mine.
The Company had electrified the Euclid Mine, and in 1910 its miners produced over 265,000 tonsof coal. While the coke works had expanded to seventy-two bee-hive coke ovens, the facilities were operated only sporadically, producing about 4,000 tons of coke. Over 254,000 tons of coal from the Euclid Mine was shipped to market in 1910.
During the First World War the Pittsburgh Coal Company employed between 200 and 300 miners at Fritzhenry. This number dropped off immediately after the war and by 1919 the company employed about 175 miners at the mine.
In 1920 the Euclid mine produced 70,560 tons of coal, it employed 83 miners, who worked 237 days, with 2 non-fatal accidents, the miners used 2,700 pounds of black powder and 3,100 pounds of permissble explosives.
With the depresion in the early 1920's annual producetion declined to about 80,000 tons of coal. By the late 1920's production had again risen to pre-war levels with about 230,000 tons of coal mined in 1928. The company employed nearly 300 miners at Fritzhenry. David Leake of Smithton served as the company's mining superintendent in the late 1910's and 1920's. He was also responsible for the Pittsburgh Coal Company's Eureka Mine south of Smithton.
Despite the Great Depression of the 1930's Pittsburgh Coal employed more miners at its Euclid Mine than at any time in the history of Fritzhenry. Over 400 miners were employed in 1933. None of the coal produced at the Euclid Mine was coked at Fritzhenry, the coke ovens having been abandoned in the 1910's. Just as it had been for a number of decades, coal was shipped to market via Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, with a tipple erected next to the line along the Youghiogheny River.
The Pittsburgh Coal Company operated the Euclid Mine through the Second World War. In 1945 this concern merged with the Consolidation Coal Company to form the Pittsburgh Consolidation Coal Company, one of the largest coal operators in the world. The following year, ca.1946, however, Pittsburgh Consolidation Coal Company abandoned its Euclid Mine and began selling its company-owned houses in Fritzhenry to private individuals. A number of miners and their families purchased company homes they had previously rented from the coal company.
(History and description of the Euclid Mines & Coke Works, with additional data and pictures adapted from "Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania: An Inventory of Historic Engineering and Industrial Sites, 1994," America's Industrial Heitage Project, National Park Service, Historic American Buildings Survey / Historic American Engineering Record, U.S. Department of the Interior, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.)
|"Coal Miners Memorial,
Euclid Mine & Coke Works
(Youghiogheny Shaft Mine & Coke Works),
Fritz Henry, South Huntingdon Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania"
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