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Clearfield Supply Company Commodore Coal Company Store, Commodore, Green Twp., Indiana Co., PA


Coal Miners Memorial Commodore Mines, Commodore, Green Twp., Indiana Co., PA


Commodore, A CBC Community, A New Kind of Coal Town, Commodore, Green Twp., Indiana Co., PA, U.S.A.


Coal Mines of Indiana Co., PA MAIN INDEX
Commodore Mines,
Commodore No. 1 Mine
(Drift Mine),
Commodore No. 2 Mine
(Slope Mine),
Commodore No. 3 Mine,
(Drift Mine),

Commodore,
Green Twp.,
Indiana County,
Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

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

Compiled & Edited by
Raymond A. Washlaski

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

Updated Jan. 13, 2010

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Commodore, Green Twp., Indiana Co., PA
[A coal company patch town on Two Lick Creek, in Pleasant Valley, Green Twp., Indiana County, Pennsylvania.]
[Located on the Cherry Tree & Dixonville Railroad of the New York Central Railroad.]
[Commodore was named for Commodore Vanderbilt, founder of the New York Central Railroad.]
See: Commodore No. 1 Mine, Commodore, Green Twp., Indiana Co., PA
       Commodore No. 2 Mine, Commodore, Green Twp., Indiana Co., PA
       Commodore No. 3 Mine, Commodore, Green Twp., Indiana Co., PA

Commodore No. 1 Mine (ca.1919-1950's),
A drift mine located on the Cherry Tree & Dixonville Railroad of the New York Central Railroad, at Commodore, Green Twp., Indiana Co., PA
[Located on the U.S.G.S. 7 1/2 Quad. map: Commodore, PA.]
[UTM: 17 E.673610 - N.4508680.]
Commodore Mines, Clearfield Supply Company, Company Store
[Located on the U.S.G.S. 71/2 min. Quad. map: Commodore, PA.]
[UTM: 17 E.673610 - N.4508680.]
Owners: (ca.1920-1950's), Clearfield Bituminous Coal Corporation, Indiana / Clymer, Indiana Co., PA
                                           [A subsidiary of the New York Central Railroad.]
                                           Coal Company Store - Clearfield Supply Company.

Commodore No. 2 Mine (ca.1920-   ?  ),
A slope mine located on the Cherry Tree & Dixonville Railroad of the New York Central Railroad, at Commodore, Green Twp., Indiana Co., PA
[Located on the U.S.G.S. 7 1/2 Quad. map: Commodore, PA.]
[UTM: 17 E.673610 - N.4508680.]
[Commodore No. 2 Mine was listed as a new mine in ca.1920.]
Owners: (ca.1920-1950's), Clearfield Bituminous Coal Corporation, Indiana / Clymer, PA
                                           (A subsidiary of the New York Central Railroad.)
                                           Company Store - Clearfield Supply Company.

Commodore No. 3 Mine (ca.1920-   ?  ),
A drift mine located on the Cherry Tree & Dixonville Railroad of the New York Central Railroad, at Commodore, Green Twp., Indiana Co., PA
[Located on the U.S.G.S. 7 1/2 Quad. map: Commodore, PA.]
[UTM: 17 E.673610 - N.4508680.]
[Commodore No. 3 Mine was listed as a new mine in ca.1920.]
Owners: (ca.1920-1950's), Clearfield Bituminous Coal Corporation, Indiana / Clymer, PA
                                           (A subsidiary of the New York Central Railroad.)
                                           Company Store - Clearfield Supply Company.

A general map of the Commodore area of Indiana County, showing the roads and streams in the area of Commodore, PA.
(Map courtesy of the Pennsylvania Game Commission, Harrisburg, PA.)

A portion of the U.S.G.S. 7 1/2 min. topo map showing Commodore, Greene Township, Indiana County, Pennsylvania and the surrounding area.
(Courtesy of the U.S. Geological Survey, Washington, D.C.)

DESCRIPTION:
Commodore, Coal Company Patch Town

The large coal company patch town of Commodore, on Two Lick Creek in Green Township, Indiana County, Pennsylvania was established by the Clearfield Bituminous Coal Corporation in ca.1920.  One of the largest of Indiana County's coal company patch towns, it is still mostly intact and well-populated.

The Coal Company houses in Commodore were built using solid cement blocks.  These cement block were made on a site where the athletic field was once located along old route 80.  John Klinglesmith, an Indiana, PA contractor, patented the blocks, which the Clearfield Bituminous Coal Corp. decided to use for the workers' houses.  In the photo below, a work crew is pouring cement into wooden forms to make these blocks.

(Photo courtesy of the collections of John Busovicki of Clymer, PA.)

Below are partially completed workers houses, ca.1920.  The Clearfield Bituminous Coal Corp., saw and planing mill in Clymer furnished the lumber for the framing of these houses.  Tenants said they were "cool in Summer and warm in the winter,"  Each house had electricity and running water, with the rent being $14.00 per month, deducted from the miners wages.
(Photo courtesy of the collections of John Busovicki of Clymer, PA)

The two-story single-family dwellings are constructed on concrete block foundations and are topped by front-gable shingle roofs.  Many of the houses have cellars.  Shed porches run across the front, and small frame shed sections are located to one side of the rear, with shed porch extensions to the others.  Interior brick chimneys are located at the rear.  These houses are built on the same general plan as those at Barr Slope Mine  and Clymer mine, but are occasionally somewhat larger and are often set on bigger lots.
(Photo courtesy of the collections of John Busovicki of Clymer, PA.)
In ca.1924 mechanical toilets were put on the back porches of these houses and sewage made to flow into a sanitary sewer system.  A coal company patch town with a sanitary sewer system at that time was a rarity, only two other coal towns in the state had similar facilities.  This was one of the reasons that Clearfield Bituminous Coal Corp. presented Commodore as a "model" coal town.

The Commodore Mine complex has been almost completely dismantled, though rubble, the abandoned railroad beds, and several large boney piles [slate dumps] mark the site.  One structure survives, which appears to have been a mine car repair shop;  like most of the houses in the town, the one-story structure is of solid cement block construction.  It has been severely altered and now, ca.1993, serves as a repair shop for trucks.

HISTORY:
Commodore, Coal Company Patch Town

Commodore, the "Model Coal Town" of the Clearfield Bituminous Coal Corporation, was established in ca.1920.  The mining town was named for Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt, one of the major shareholders.  Located on the New York Central Railroad (later Conrail) now an abandoned railroad bed, the town contained a large number of coal company built houses, coal company store, a bank, a garage, a high school, electrical power plant and a water system.  The mines themselves were fully equipped and electrified and boasted a complete machine shop and a steel tipple.  By ca.1922 the mines were producing more than 1,000 tons of coal per day.  The first child to be born in the new community was named Commodore Stark.

Coal production from the deep mines at Commodore slowed after World War II, and production ceased during the 1950's, though some surface strip mining continued for a while.  Even though no deep mines are now operating in the community, the town has survived nearly intact, and many of the houses are still occupied by retired miners who had worked in the local mines or by their families.  The vacant Clearfield Supply Company building was purchased from the Clearfield Bituminous Coal Corp., by the Green Township Community Action Center in 1970 and remodeled the following year to serve as Commodore's Community Center.

(History and description of Commodore Mines, adapted from "Indiana County, Pennsylvania: An Inventory of Historic Engineering and Industrial Sites, 1993,"  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.)

Today's old photo pictures the Clearfield Bituminous Coal Corp.'s annual first aid training, held at the Commodore mine June 15, 1932. Commodore in 1919 was the fourth mining community developed in Indiana County by the coal corporation. The others were Clymer and Barr Slope in 1905 and Rossiter in 1900. Today's old photograph and information were provided by John Busovicki of Clymer.

Clearfield Supply Company, Commodore Coal Company Store,
Commodore, Green Twp., Indiana Co., PA
Coal Miners Memorial Commodore Mines,
Commodore, Green Twp., Indiana Co., PA
Commodore, A CBC Community, A New Kind of Coal Town,
Commodore, Green Twp., Indiana Co., PA, U.S.A.
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