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Virtual Museum of Coal Mining in Western Pennsylvania

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The 20th Century Society of Western Pennsylvania
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Coal Miners Memorial Lemont Mines & Coke Works, Lemont Furnace, North Union Twp., Fayette Co., PA


Superba Mine and Lemont Mines Flood Disaster, July 24, 1912, Lemont Furnace & Evans Station, North Union Twp., Fayette Co., PA


Coal Mines of Fayette Co., PA MAIN INDEX

Map of H.C.Frick Coke Co. Mines
Lemont No. 1 Mine & Coke Works,
Lemont No. 2 Mine & Coke Works,
Lemont No. 3 Mine & Coke Works

Lemont Furnace,
North Union Twp.,
Fayette County,
Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

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

Compiled & Edited by
Raymond A. Washlaski

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

Updated May 9, 2010

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Lemont No. 1 Mine & Coke Works  (ca.1871- ? ),
Located on the Fayette County Branch of the Pittsburg & Connellsville Railroad, later it became the Pennsylvania South West Railroad, 3 miles northeast of Uniontown, approx. 1/2 mile east of PA Rt. 119, near Darent, Lemont Furnace, North Union Twp., Fayette Co., PA

[Lemont Coke Works contained 107 bee-hive coke ovens ca.1875.]
[Lemont No. 1 Coke Works contained 227 bee-hive coke ovens ca.1910.]
Owners:  (ca.1871-    ?  ), Robert Hogsett Company,
              (ca.1870's-  ?  ), Hogsett, Ewing & Company,
              (ca.1875-    ?  ), Ewing, Boyd & Company,  
              (ca.1870'-   ?  ), Ewing, Hanna & Company,
              (ca.1880's-   ? ), Hogsett & Company
              (ca.1889-    ?  ), McClure Coke Company, Scottdale, PA

                                      [The Coke Plant was operated under lease by the H.C. Frick Coke                                         Company after July 1890.]
              (ca.1894-    ?  ), McClure Coke Company, Scottdale, PA
              (ca.1900-    ?  ), H.C. Frick Coke Company, Scottdale, PA
              (ca.1905-    ?  ), H.C. Frick Coke Company, Scottdale, PA
              (ca.1910-    ?  ), H.C. Frick Coke Company, Scottdale, PA

Lemont No. 2 Mine & Coke Works (ca.1890- ? ),
Located on the B & O Railroad, west of Lemont Furnace, North Union Twp., Fayette Co., PA
[Lemont No. 2 Coke Works contained 350 coke ovens, ca.1910.]
Owners:  (ca.1890-  ?  ), McClure Coke Company, Scottdale, PA
              (ca.1894-  ?  ), McClure Coke Company, Scottdale, PA
              (ca.1900-  ?  ), H. C. Frick Coke Company, Scottdale, PA
              (ca.1905-  ?  ), H.C. Frick Coke Company, Scottdale, PA
              (ca.1910-  ?  ), H. C. Frick Coke Company, Scottdale, PA
Lemont No. 3 Mine & Coke Works (ca.1900-  ?  ),
Located on the B & O Railroad, west of Lemont Furnace, North Union Twp., Fayette Co., PA
Owners: (ca.1905-  ?  ), H.C. Frick Coke Company, Scottdale, PA

A portion of a ca.1900 15 min. Uniontown, PA Quad. topographical map of the Lemont Furnace Area of Fayette County, showing the Lemont Mines & Coke Works, plus the settlement around the mine, as well as the Southwest Pennsylvania Railroad & the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad that served the Lemont Mines & Coke Works.
(Map courtesy of the U.S.Geological Survey, Washington, D.C.)

A double-family house in the coal company patch town of Lemont Furnace.
(Courtesy of the Coal & Coke Heritage Center, Penn State University Fayette Campus, Uniontown, PA)

DESCRIPTION:
Lemont Mine No. 1 & Coke Works and Lemont Mine No. 2 & Coke Works.

Located on the north side of the [ca.1990] CSX Railroad tracks, west of the town of Lemont Furnace, very little remains of the Lemont No. 1 Coke Works.  Only three bee-hive coke ovens in moderately deteriorated condition, survive ca.1990 on the site that once contained nearly 300 bee-hive ovens.  Originally at least two batteries of double-block bee-hive coke ovens stood here and were served by the Fayette County Branch of the Pittsburg and Connellsville Railroad, which later became the Southwest Pennsylvania Railroad of the Pennsylvania Railroad  A coal reclamation project which was operating, ca.1990, on the south side of the CSX tracks, was apparently responsible for the demolition of the Lemont Coke Ovens.

The remains of the Lemont No. 2 Mine Coke Works were far more substantial ca.1990, than those as the Lemont No. 1 site.  Located on the south side of the former CSX Railroad line, southwest of Lemont Furnace, the Lemont No. 2 Coke Works featured three batteries of double-block bee-hive coke ovens and one battery of bank bee-hive coke ovens.  Though partially covered with vegetation, these ovens range in condition from moderately to severely deteriorated.  They were the best preserved coke ovens in North Union Township.

HISTORY:
Lemont Mine & Coke Works
The Lemont No. 1 Mine & Coke Works was built by the Lemont Furnace Company, pursuant to an agreement with Robert Hogsett Company.  Construction of the plant began around 1871 and the first coke ovens probably were built shortly thereafter.  Exact ownership is unclear for this early period, but it appears that Alexander Ewing, James Hanna, and Robert Hogsett exercised controlling interests in the property.

A postcard showing Lemont No. 1 Mine.
(Source unknown.)

From the "Special Report of the Coke Manufacture of the Youghiogheny River Valley, 1875." Second Geological Survey of Pennsylvania, 1875.:

On the line of the Fayette Branch of the Pittsburg & Connellsvile Railroad, Messrs Ewing, Boyd & Company, have their coke ovens at Lemont Station, three miles north of Uniontown.

There are one hundred and seven Bee-hive Bank Coke Ovens, with material on the ground for thirty to forty more ovens.  The bee-hive coke ovens are one-half 12 feet dia. x 6 feet, and one-half 11 feet dia. x 6 feet.

One hundred bushels of coal are charged into an oven.  None of the gases are utilized with here or at any other coking establishment in the region.

The coal is roasted for forty-eight hours, except the Friday and Saturday charges, when an extra amount of coal is charged and the roasting is continued for seventy-two hours.

There is a decided increase in bulk in coking; 100 bushels of coal yeilding an average of 120 bushels of coke.  With the coal at 76 pounds and coke at 40 pounds ot the bushel, the yeild of pounds of coke to pounds of coal is 63 per cent, or as it is commonly and conveniently stated, 13 to 8:  The works employ in all eighty-five men and boys.

By 1883 the Lemont Mine & Coke Works was owned by Robert Hogsett, James Hanna and Thomas Rabe and had 150 bee-hive coke ovens operating.  Most of the coke produced was used to provide fuel for the Lemont Furnace Company, whose blast furnace was also located on this site.  Hogsett continued to operate the plant until ca.1889, when the McClure Coke Company acquired the property, through a takeover of many of the smaller coal companies.

Beginning in July, 1890, the H.C. Frick Coke Company, through a lease agreement, operated the Lemont No. 1 Mine & Coke Works.  The number of bee-hive coke ovens was increased to 294 by 1892.  The H.C. Frick Coke Company acquired complete control of the Lemont No. 1 Mine & Coke Works in 1903 through a merger with the McClure Coke Company.

The Lemont No. 1 Mine, a drift mine, had 2,545 acres of assigned coal, shared with the Lemont No. 2 Mine.The pittsburg coal vein that was mined was 7.8 inches thick.  The Lemont No. 1 Coke Works had one battery of block bee-hive coke ovens.  In 1903, the H.C. Frick Coke Company had 227 coke ovens in operation at the Lemont No. 1 Coke Works, producing about 85,000 tons of coke that year.  Frick employed 200 miners and coke workers at the Lemont No. 1 Mine & Coke Works, sixty-seven of whom were engaged in the production of coke.  Daily coal productin capability was 2,100 tons and coke production ws 900 tons in 1928.  In addition, the Lemont operation also included a brick works where refactory bricks for the coke ovens and other mine uses were manufactured.

The lemont No. 2 Mine & Coke Works was built by the McClure Coke Company and placed into operation in 1890.   Coal for the coke works was acquired from outside and much of it probably came from the nearby Lemont No. 1 Mine.  The H.C. Frick Coke Company operated the Lemont No. 2 Mine after July 1, 1900, and acquired the property through a merger on March 28, 1903.  The coke works had three batteries of double-block bee-hive coke ovens and one battery of bank bee-hive coke ovens.  At its peak; the coke works had 350 coke ovens available.

From the "Report of the Department of Mines of Pennsylvania, 1905."
Lemont No. 1 Mine.  -  The ventilation, drainage, and general condition were good on each visit.  The coal bin was repaired and the capacity increased.

Lemont No. 2 Mine.  -  In good condition.  The air current on my last visit was rather weak near face of the dip and in the pillar working on the north side of south slope.  This was given prompt attention and the condition improved.  Improvements made during the year consist of an electric charging equipment as follows:  Three larried, two of which are fitted with 25 horse power motors of the general electric type.  The north slope heading has been graded and the haulage extended a distance of 800 feet, 2,100 feet of the portion of this haulage, near the pit mouth, has been relaid with 40 pound "T" iron.  New air course, parrallel with and extending almost the entire length of the north slope, has been practically finished.  Fourteen brick overcasts and eighteen brick stoppings have been constructed.

Lemont No. 3 Mine. -  Condition good.
(Report of the Dept. of Mines of Pennsylvania,1906:258)

(History and description of Lemont No. 1 Mine & Coke Works and Lemont No. 2 Mine & Coke Works, with additional data added was 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.)

The Catholic Church, Chapel of St. Mary (Nativity) Parish, Uniontown, located in Lemont Furnace, PA, closed ca.2006.

"Coal Miners Memorial, Lemont Mines & Coke Works,
Lemont Furnace North Union Twp., Fayette County, Pennsylvania"
Superba Mine & Lemont Mines Flood Disaster, July 24, 1912,
Evans Station & Lemont Furnace, North Union Twp., Fayette County, Pennsylvania"

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