|Leckrone No. 1 Mine & Coke
Works (ca.1899- ? ),
Located at the forks of Brown Run, two miles northeast of Masontown, on Rt. T 383 and Rt. T 386, off of PA Rt. SR 3013, about 3 miles east of where PA Rt. 21 crosses the Monongahela River, Leckrone No. 1, German Twp., Fayette Co., PA
[Leckrone No. 1 Coke Works contained 250 bee-hive coke ovens ca.1900.]
[Leckrone No. 1 Coke Works contained 516 coke ovens in ca.1905 & ca.1919, Leckrone, Germany Twp., Fayette Co., PA]
Owners: (ca.1899-1901), Eureka Fuel Company,
[A subsidiary of Illinois Steel Company.]
[Company Store Pleasant Supply Company.]
(ca.1901- ? ), Southwest Connellsville Coke Company, Scottdale, PA
(ca.1902- ? ), H. C. Frick Coke Company, Scottdale, PA
(ca.1905- ? ), H. C. Frick Coke Company, Scottdale, PA
(ca.1919- ? ), H. C. Frick Coke Company, Scottdale, PA
Leckrone No. 2 Mine & Coke Works
(ca.1899- ? ),
Leckrone No. 3 Mine (ca.1905-
Leckrone No. 4 Mine (ca.1919-
|A portion of the U.S.G.S. Masontown 15min. Quad Map ca.1935
showing Leckrone and the surrounding mining patches.
(Courtesy of the U.S. Geological Survey, Washington, D.C.)
Leckrone Mines & Coke Works
About one-quarter of a mile north of Leckrone No. 1 on Rt. T 710 there are three coal company community building extant. The stretcher-bond red brick Leckrone post office and superintendent's building is on the west side of the road. Roughly square in plan, it rests on a coursed-stone foundation, has a flat roof and three arched openings with double voussoirs on its front, a central doorway and flanking pairs of one-over one-light, double-hung sash windows.
Across the street is the six-bay, two-story common-bond red brick coal company store. This structure also has a flat roof, but includes more decorative brick work with three pilasters, corbelling, and corbelled arches above its second-story windows. A common-bond yellow brick ice house addition adjoins the store on its north side.
Two mine buildings, a square, hipped-roofed, common-bond red brick structure on a coursed ashlar fopundation, possibly the boiler house, and a larger, brick and corrugated-metal, gable-roofed building with multipane casement windows, are extant northwest of Leckrone No. 1 between the town and the company store building.
Leckron Mines & Coke Works
The following description of the Leckrone No 1 & No. 2 Mines and coke works is taken from "Report of the Bureau of Mines, 1900."
Eureka Fuel Company builds the Leckrone Mines.
Ground was broken for the pit mouth of Leckrone No. 1 Mine at Leckrone in August, 1899. The contract for the coke ovens was let in September, 1899, and the first coke was drawn June 2, 1900 at the Leckrone No. 1 Coke Works. The works was carried on continuously throughout the winter upon coke oven construction, mine development, tenement houses, foundation work, etc.
The nearest railroad delivery, until the Smithfield and Masontown branch of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad company reached Leckrone, on April 7, 1900, was Smithfield, seven miles distant, from which all construction material and machinery, including six 11 tons boilers, were hauled by horse team.
At Leckrone, at the forks of Brown Run, and two miles northeast of Masontown, there are two drift mines. The Leckrone No. 1 Mine has 525 acres of coal tributary to it, all of which is self-draining and grades on the haulage roads are in favor of the load, the grade on the main haulage driven on the butt being 3.5 per cent. The mine is equipped for the use of electricity. Electric chain machines are used for driving headings and to a certain extant in room works.
The main headings are lighted by incandescent lamps, and electric locomotives will be used.
The main haulage roads are laid with 55 pound steel rail and the butt heading with 25 pound rail, the rooms being driven on the face. A stone masonry retaining walls form the pit mouth, and brick arches are carried in on all headings to the point where good roof is secured in the coal. Ventilation is provided for by a Capell fan 13 1/2 feet diameter by 7 feet wide, with a guaranteed capacity of 300,000 cubic feet of air per minute.
From the pit mouth the mine cars run by gravity 550 feet to the foot of th incline and are hauled up the incline to the tipple by a sprocket chain, driven by an electric motor; dogs on the chain engaging in brackets on the bottoms of the mine cars. The length of the incline is 250 feet, with a grade of 25 per cent., and the dogs are spaced so that eleven mine wagons can be placed on the chain at once.
The mine cars are emptied into the bin by two phillips dumps, the empty mine wagons being delivered automatically to the top of the incline again where they are conveyed to the bottom of the incline by a similar sprocket chain running in the reverse direction. From the foot of the incline the mine cars run by gravity to the pit mouth, the track being on an embankment separated from the track for loaded mine cars by a masonry wall.
The coal bin has a capacity of 1,000 tons. It is 60 feet high from top of foundation to dumping floor, and 17 1/2 feet from foundations to rail of the larry tracj under the bin. It is a steel structure throughout and was designed both as to structural and mechanical details by Heyl & Patterson of Pittsburg, who were also the contractors and erectors of all the machinery for hoisting and dumping of coal, the Schultz Bridge and Iron Company, of Pittsburg, were the contractors for the structural work.
Provisions are also made for the loading of screened coal into railroad cars and independent sidings are laid for the economical handling of the same. This electrically driven chain hoist is a thoroughly modern and successful mechanical device for raising coal to the tipple and somewhat a departure from the usual location of a tipple for drift mines, as it make it possible to select the lowest available point on the coal outcrop for pit mouths and thus work the greatest possible acreage to the rise.
One man and two boys are required to operate this hoist, one boy to place the mine cars on the chain at the bottom, one man to dump the cars on the tipple, and a boy to couple up the empty trips.
A steel trestle 200 feet long carries the track for the larries from the coal bin to the coke ovens. Each larry is provided with an electric motor, the trolley wire on the ovens being carried on gas pipe poles attached at the bottom to an extension of the cast iron ties under the rails. The ovens are built on a one percent grade in favor of the loaded larry and loaded railroad coke cars; thew coke ovens are of the double block type 12 1/2 feet in diameter.
The coke yards are 33 feet wide. A noticeable feature is the high coke yard walls, 10 feet above the loading track. These high walls in conjunction with the special pressed steel coke racks, which are used exclusively for shipping coke from the plants of the Eureka Fuel Company, make the loading unusually easy for the coke drawer, the runs to the top of the railroad cars level instead of up-grade as is common with the low wharf walls. There are 250 coke ovens supplied from the Leckrone No. 1 Mine.
The Leckrone No. 2 Mine has 300 acres of coal and supplies 150 coke ovens. In general features the Leckrone No. 2 plant is similar to the Leckrone No. 1 Plant. The pit mouth is at a lower elevationm being but five feet above the general level of the valley, thus requiring a longer incline to reach tiple elevation.
The distance from the pit mouth to the foot of the incline is 350 feet and the length of the incline is 330 feet.
The Capell fan for the LEckrone No. 2 mine is 8 feet diameter by 3 1/2 feet wide, driven by a horse power, slow speed electric motor, with a guaranteed capacity of 30,000 cubic feet of air per minute.
As has been stated, electricity is the type of power used at this plant. the generative plant is in duplicate and consists of two General Electric Co., 165 KW, 275 volt compound wound direct current generators, direct connected to two Buckeye 240 horse power 18 3/4 inch by 18 inch engines. But one of the generators is required for the operation of the plant at the present time; but the two engines can be run in conjunction and the power house is of sufficient size to allow erection of two more engines and generators should the future extension of the workings require it.
Steam is supplied by six 150 horse power 6 feet by 20 feet tubular boilers, four boilers being usually in operation and two in reserve.
The general machine shop for the several plants is located at Leckrone. It is a building 48 feet by 100 feet, divided into carpenter ship, machine shop, and blacksmith shop. The shops are equipped with rip and cross cut saw, band saw, boring machine, emery wheel, grindstone, blower for forge, ect. An electric motor supplies the power.
One of the first adjuncts to the development to be installed was a brick yard with a capacity of 20,000 brick per day, and a steam dry house, so that bricks were manufactured continously throughout the winter. All the brick required for the oven fronts, mine arches, foundations, and buildings for Leckrone abd Buffington plants were furnished by this brick yard. Another brick yard was operated at Footdale, and working during the summer, but it was without a drying house.
Among the buildings for which brick were furnished were the boiler house 48 feet by 70 feet, powere house 48 feet by 50 feet, machine shop 48 feet by 100 feet, office building 40 feet by 44 feet, two fan houses and the three store buildings of the Mount Pleasant Supply Company, each 40 feet by 100 feet.
The roof trusses for these buildings are of steel and in general wherever possible steel construction is used.
Steam is carried from the boiler house 650 feet for the No. 1 fan engine, brick machinery and dry house, also a line 1,200 feet long for heating the store and office, and for an engine for the ice plant at the store.
At Leckrone 94 double blocks of residences and 21 single tenement houses have been erected also seven residences of a better class.
Water is supplied to all the plants by the Huron Water Company, which is owned jointly by the Federal Steel Company and the American Steel and Wire Company. The pumping station is situated on the Monongahela river, at the mouth of Brown's Run, and is equipped with four 150 horse power boilers and two 3,000,000 gallon Wilson Snyder Manufacturing Co's pumps and foundations ready foir a third pump, which force the water through a rising main 19 inches in diameter to a steel tank 60 feet diameter by 35 feet high, 500 feet above the river, a distance of 3,700 feet, thence three miles by an 18 inch main to the reservoir one-half mile west of McClellandtown.
The Masontown and New Salem Railroad, 12 miles in length, owned by the Federal Steel Company, connects the three plants of the Eureka Fuel Company. This road was constructed and is operated by the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, under lease, connecting with their Coal Lick Run branch of the South West Pennsylvania Railroad at Ache Junction, 7 1/2 miles from Uniontown. Leckrone is the terminus of the Smithfield and Masontown branch of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.
The Southwest Connellsville Coke Company operated the Leckrone No. 1 & No. 2 Mines and Coke Works ca.1901, until shifting ownership to the H.C. Frick Coke Company.
H.C. Frick Coke Company Acquires the Leckrone
The Leckrone Company Store, located halfway between Leckrone No. 1 and Leckrone No. 2, and some 216 coal company houses were constructed prior to the H.C. Frick Coke Company taking over the Leckrone Mines, the rest of the coal company housing at Leckrone No. 1 and Leckrone No. 2 was built after ca.1901. Most coal company houses were constructed in ca.1902, when the H.C. Frick Coke Company built seventy-five double houses and twenty-four single houses. Abut 35 percent of these dwellings were built at Leckrone No. 1 and 30 percent at Leckrone No. 2 and the remainder in small clusters near the Leckrone coke plant but separate from the main coal company patches.
In 1903 the H.C. Frick Coke Company employed 562 miners at the Leckrone Mines, 214 of whom were engaged at the Leckrone Coke Plant in producing 417,519 tons of coke in 1903. In April, 1922, the Leckrone operations were among the first four coal plants in the Connellsville Coke Region to shut down during the national coal miners strike of 1922. By 1928 the daily coal production at Leckrone was 1,800 tons of coal, and the coke works had two batteries of block bee-hive type coke ovens and one battery of bank type bee-hive coke ovens, approximately 516 bee-hive coke ovens althogether.
(History and description of Leckrone, adapted from "Fayette County, Pennsylvania: An Inventory of Historic Engineering and Industrial Sites, 1990," 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.)
|A ca.1907 postcard showing the Leckrone Coke Works, Leckrone,
Fayette Co., PA.
(Courtesy of Minerd-Miner-Minor Family Archives, Beaver, PA.)
|Leckrone Mine Power House crew, ca.1909.
Joseph Bush, power house foreman, is on the far right. The sign
on the building in the background reads "Do Not Throw Fruit Skins, Scrap
Waste Paper or Anything Around Grounds or Buildings."
(Photo courtesy of Harry & Bonnie Minor)
|Joseph Bush, Leckrone Mine Power House foreman,
(Photo courtesy of Harry & Bonnie Minor.)
1 & Leckrone No. 2, Coal Company Patch Towns,
Leckrone, German Twp., Fayette County, Pennsylvania"
Memorial, Leckrone Mines & Coke Works,
Leckrone, German Twp., Fayette County, Pennsylvania"
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