|Tearing Run Mine
(Thrtmal No.8 Mine) (ca.1904- ? ),
A drift mine, located one mile northwest of Homer City, Center Township, on the Western Pennsylvania Division Indiana Branch of the Pennsylvania Railroad, Tearing Run Branch line, near Homer City, Tearing Run, Center Twp., Indiana Co., PA.
[In the 1914, Report of the Department of Mines of Pennsylvania, it states that the Homer City Coal Co. "took over Townsend Coal Companys Tearing Run Mine and renamed it the Homer City Mine, as of Oct. 1." Subsequent years list a Homer Mine owned by the Homer City Coal Co. The 1923 edition lists a Thermal No. 8 Mine operated by the Homer City Coal Co. in the same district, which was also likely the Tearing Run/Homer mine.]
[Located on the U.S.G.S. 7 1/2 min. Quad. map: Indiana, PA.]
[UTM: 17 E.656700 - N.4487720.]
Owners: (ca.1904- ? ), Glenmore Coal & Coke Company, Indiana, PA
(ca.1905- ? ), Glenmore Coal & Coke Company, Indiana, PA
(ca.1913- ? ), Townsend Coal Company, Barnesboro, PA
(ca.1915- ? ), Homer City Coal Company, Homer City, PA
(ca.1920- ? ), Homer City Coal Company, Homer City, PA
(ca.1923- ? ), Homer City Coal Company, Homer City, PA
(ca.1931- ? ), Homer City Coal Company, Homer City, PA
|A portion of the U.S.G.S. Indiana, PA 15min. quad Map
1902ed. showing Tearing Run and the Pennsylvania Railroad Indiana Branch
Tearing Run branch line which served the Tearing Run Mine.
(Courtesy of the U.S. Geological Survey, Washington, D.C.)
Several of the Tearing Run Mine related buildings and a few coal company houses mark the site of the Tearing Run Mine Complex. The Townsand Coal Company and its successors worked a mine on the west bank of Chestnut Ridge, a mile south of Homer City, on a southward branch of Tearing Run. Mining operations at Tearing Run Mine ceased after the mines were flooded in the 1936 St. Patrick's Day floods.
The surviving mine buildings ca.1993 included a blacksmith shop, a mule barn for the mules used in the mine, and a partially ruined dynamite storage house. Other building ruins at the site of the Tearing Run Mine complex include those of an stationary engine house, the engines were used to haul the loaded mine cars out of the mine, and of a tipple which loaded the coal into railroad hopper cars on the Tearing Run Spur line.
The blacksmith shop building is a one-story structure of reinforced-concrete construction, measuring roughly 45 feet x 22 feet. It is banked somewhat into the hill, and has double-leaf wooden batten loading doors at the left side of the northeast or main facade. The structure is topped by a side-gable composition shingle roof, and a weatherboarded tractor shed is joined to the southeast end. Windows are double-hung sash with 6/6 lights.
Thirty yards east is a one-and-a-half-story reinforced concrete bank barn used to house the mules that were used in the mining operations. The barn has entrances on both levels, and is topped by a front-gable roof with shingled gable. At the rear is a cylindrical precast-concrete slab silo resting on a concrete base and reinforced with iron-strap banding. On the east side of the barn is a small wooden slat corn crib, also a survivor from the mining period. In the brush at the top of the bluff behind the mule barn are concrete footings that once formed the base for an engine house containing stationary engines that powered a rope haulage system that pulled the coal mine cars of the mines and to a sorting and loading tipple. The tipple itself was of wooden timber construction but stood on a concrete base; the tipple has been dismantled, but the foundations are visible amid the accompanying boney waste pile.
Up the creek a quarter of a mile from the main mine complex are the remains of a small structure which stored the dynamite used by the miners in their work. The small brick structure was square, 6 feet on a side. The roof has been torn-off, or blown off, and the structure is in ruins. Other mining structures were present as well; A concrete wash house for the miners was torn down in the early 1990's. All the mine portals have been sealed, and the railroad trackage which served the mine up Tearing Run has been removed.
|A part of the Tearing Run Mine complex, ca.1993,
the Mule Barn and Corn Crib, several building foundations from the mine are
also in the area.
(Photo by Richard Quin. Courtesy of the Historic American Buildings Survey / Historic American Engineering Record, U.S. Department of the Interior, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.)
The Guthries were mining the west side of Chestnut Ridge along Tearing Run, in Center Township by the late 1800's. Their Tearing Run Mine was operated by Glenmore Coal & Coke Company by ca.1907. Production at the Tearing Run Mine ca.1907 totalled 49,000 tons of coal, and the mine employed seventy-eight men and boys. The Tearing Run Mine had at least two portals, and was connected to the Pennsylvania Railroad Indiana Breanch by the Tearing Run Branch line. Mules were used to haul coal from the working face to the main haulage road and a stationary steam engine with a rope haulage system were used for haulage of the coal out of the mine. Ventilation in the mine was provided by a Robinson fan.
A number of coal company owned houses were provided for the miners and their families in the Tearing Run area, but the superintendent lived in Homer City. In ca.1914, 107 men and boys were employed in the mine.
By ca.1915 the Homer Coal Company was conducting operation at the mine with ninety-nine men and boys.
The Tearing Run Mines closed after they were inundated by the St. Patrick's Day Floods in 1936.
The Tearing Run Mines were an independent mining company, not affiliated with the Rochester & Pitsburgh Coal & Iron Company's nearby subsidiary mines, at Coy, Waterman and Snyder. However, much of the land, including the mine building complex, was later owned or leased by the Rochester & Pittsburgh Coal Company.
The Interstate Commerce Commission report about the abandonment
of the Pennsylvania Railroad's Tearing Run Branch. The report says that the
branch was built in 1892 to serve a coal mine. This mine is not named, but
the 1900 edition of the Pennsylvania Railroad CT1000 station listing shows
a J.M. Guthrie (Agent) at the end of the Tearing Run Branch - and Mr. Guthrie
just happens to be have been the General Superintendent of the Tearing Run
Mine at that time. The report goes on to say that the mine was flooded in
March of 1938, and subsequently abandoned. The Pennsylvania Railroad received
permission to abandon their branch line in February of 1941.
(History and description of the Tearing Run Mines, adapted with additional data 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.)
|A Special Thanks to Nick Puzak, Mining Historian, formerly of Penn State University, for researching and furnishing many additional details about the ownership of the Tearing Run Mine, Center Twp., Indiana Co., PA.|
Memorial Tearing Run Mine,
Homer City, Tearing Run, Center Twp., Indiana Co., PA
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