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Coal Miners Memorial Florence Mines, Florence, McCalmont Twp., Jefferson Co., PA


Coal Mines of Jefferson Co., PA Main INDEX
Florence No. 1 Mine,
Florence No. 2 Mine

Florence,
Anita P.O.,
McCalmont Twp.,
Jefferson County,
Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

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

Compiled & Edited by
Raymond A. Washlaski

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

Updated June 25, 2010

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Florence (Anita P.O.),
McClamont Twp., Jefferson Co., PA

[A coal company patch town in McClamont Twp., Jefferson County, Pennsylvania.]
[Located on the Adrian Branch of the Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburg Railway and the Jefferson Co. Electric Railway.]
See: Florence Mine & Coke Works (Florence No. 1 Mine), Florence, Anita P.O., McCalmont Twp., Jefferson Co.,  PA
       Florence No. 2 Mine, Florence, Anita P.O., McCalmont Twp., Jefferson Co., PA

Florence Mine & Coke Works
(Florence No. 1 Mine)
(ca.1901-  ?  ),
Located on the Adrian Brnach of the Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburgh Railway, Florence, McCalmont Twp., Jefferson Co., PA
[Florence Coke Works contained 476 bee-hive coke ovens ca.1901.]
[Florence Coke Works contained 511 bee-hive coke ovens ca.1905.]
Owners: (ca.1901-   ?  ), Rochester & Pittsburgh Coal & Iron Co., Punxsutawney, PA
             (ca.1904-   ?  ), Rochester & Pittsburgh Coal & Iron Co., Punxsutawney, PA
             (ca.1905-   ?  ), Rochester & Pittsburgh Coal & Iron Co., Punxsutawney, PA
             (ca.1924-   ?  ), Rochester & Pittsburgh Coal & Iron Co., Indiana, PA
                                     [Florence Mine was closed in ca.1924.]
             (ca.1937-1941), Rochester & Pittsburgh Coal Co., Indiana, PA
[Florence Mine was reopened ca.1937 and worked till ca.1941, when it was closed and sealed.]

Florence No. 2 Mine (ca.1904-  ?  ),
Located on the Adrian Branch of the Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburgh Railway, Florence, McCalmont Twp., Jefferson Co., PA
Owners: (ca.1904-  ?  ), Rochester & Pittsburgh Coal & Iron Co., Punxsutawney, PA
             (ca.1905-  ?  ), Rochester & Pittsburgh Coal & Iron Co., Punxsutawney, PA

             (ca.1906-  ?  ), Rochester & Pittsburgh Coal & Iron Co., Punxsutawney, PA

The top map is a portion of the U.S.G.S. 15 min. DuBois, PA quad map ca.1924ed. The bottom map is a portion of the U.S.G.S. 15min. Punxsutawney, PA quad map ca.1906ed.  The two maps combined show the Adrian Branch of the Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburgh Railway
(Maps courtesy of the U.S. Geological Survey, Washington, D.C.)

HISTORY:
In ca.1899, another mine opening, Florence No. 1 Mine, a slope mine, was begun northeast of Adrian.  Shortly thereafter Florence No. 2 Mine, a drift mine,  was begun. The mines were run on steam power.

From the Mine Inspectors of Pennsylvania Report for 1906:
Florence No. 1 Mine and Florence No. 2 Mine are very large, and the production of the mines is great.  They are ventilated by fans.  The drainage and ventilation were good during the year. The Florence Mines are connected to the Adrian Mine.  Total production of coal for 1906 was 508,758 tons and the Florence Mines employed 858 men and boys, and 14 horses and mules.

Both Florence No. 1 Mine and Florence No. 2 Mine were operated by the Rochester & Pittsburgh Coal & Iron Company until ca.1924, when the mines were closed.  The company reopened the Florence Mine in ca.1937 and mined coal again at the site until ca.1941, when the operation was permanently shut down.  All coal mined at the Florence Mines was transported back to Adrian and processed over Adrian's tipple.  In the beginning  of minng operations most of the men who mined at Florence No. 1 Mine & Florence No. 2 Mine lived in Adrian, although houses were eventually built at Florence for the convenience of some of the workers.

Florence Mines ca.1910.  The large building in the center is the boiler house and Power Plant.  The smaller structure on the hill to the right was the water tower for the boiler house, for making steam to run the mine.
(Photo courtesy of "Rochester & Pittsburgh Coal Company, The First One Hundred Years" by Eileen Mountjoy Cooper, ca.1982.)

The "Black Hand" in Florence.

In addition to being remembered as one of the first sites mined by the Rochester & Pittsburgh Coal & Iron Company, the town of Florence also secured a place in the annals of crime in Jefferson County.  The flow of immigrants into the early coal towns often resulted in exploitation of the "New Americans" by a few unscrupulous individuals.

In 1905 the Pennsylvania Legislature created the nation's first State Police Force for the protection of rural communities, and Punxsutawney became home to one of four separate troops responsible for Patrolling the area.   Mainly in response to the mine owners for protection of their operations.  Some miners and day workrs showed their resentment by terming the troopers "Pennsylvania Cossacks."  On September 2, 1906, a battled ensued when troops sought out a gang of desperadoes and cutthroats in Florence.

In 1906, a Punxsutawney newspaper reported accounts of a pitched battle between Troop D of the Pennsylvania State Police, Constabulary of Punxsutawney, and a group of "Black Handers," a gang of petty extortioners.  At the height of the fray, the alleged Black Handers barricaded themselves into a house near Florence Mine. In the resulting gunfire, two troopers were killed, Private Zehringer and Private Henry, and three wounded.

Members of Troop D, Pennsylvania State Police, pose at the Punxsutawney Fairgrounds racetrack ca.1906.
(Photo courtesy of the Jefferson County Historical Society, Brookville, PA.)

"There are many treacherous members of the "Black Hand" in and about Florence Mine and the surrounding mines." stated the newspaper at the time of the 1906 conflict.  Reports of "Black Hand "crimes died out in the nineteen twenties, when Prohibition paved the way for more profitable methods of making money for those disinclined to work at legal occupations.

(Historical text adapted from "Rochester & Pittsburgh Coal Company, The First One Hundred Years" by Eileen Mountjoy Cooper, ca.1982.  used with permission of Eileen Mountjoy.)

from "The Indiana Democrat," Indiana, PA, June 8, 1904
Punxsutawney, PA House Explosion, June, 1904

HOUSE WRECKED.
Woman and Child Injured by an Explosion.
While attempting to burn a flue out with miner's powder, Mrs. John Bologne, of Florence mine, near Punxsutawney, Pa., was the victim of an explosion, which may kill her and her 18-month-old child.

Mrs. Bologne took the powder from a four-gallon can and after placing some of it in the stove pipe set fire to it, thinking it would clear the flue. A slight explosion followed which threw sparks into the can, when a second explosion occurred which wrecked the house and blew the woman and baby out through the door and several feet away from the building. The woman's clothing was on fire when two neighbors came to her assistance. While they were trying to assist Mrs. Bologne a second can of powder exploded and they were badly burned.
[from "The Indiana Democrat," Indiana, PA, June 8, 1904.]
[Article courtesy of Dawn McLaughlin.]

from the "Indiana Evening Gazette," Indiana, PA, Tues., April 6, 1937
Florence Mine to Reopen

The Florence mine of the Rochester and Pittsburgh Coal Company, idle more than 10 years will be reopened.  L.W. Householder, vice president and general manager of the company announced, giving employment to approximately 100 men, many of whom will be recruited from the Adrian Mine.

A tram road approximately three miles in length will be built from the Florence mine to the Adrian tipple over which the Florence coal will be dumped.  "We expect to start construction on the tram road," said Mr. Householder this morning."  "Soon after the district scale committees, which will meet Wednesday in Philadelphia, complete their negotiations.

It is estimated that there is approximately 300,000 tons of recoverable coal in the Florence Mine.  Due to the length of the corridors there it is estimated that it will take at least five years to recover the mineable coal.  While the major portion of the mine's production will be trammed to the Adrian tipple, corridors in the Adrian mine will be extended to tap part of the Florence coal.

Operations have been somewhat restricted in the Adrian mine in the past year and a number of the employes of that mine will be placed in the Florence workings.  Houses owned by the company in Florence will not be rehabilitated since the majority of miners employed there will live in neighboring towns.
[from the "Indiana Evening Gazette," Indiana, PA, Tues., April 6, 1937.]

Telephone Booth in the Florence Mine, one mile from the entrance.

Coal Miners Memorial Florence Mines,
Florence, Anita P.O., McCalmont Twp., Jefferson Co., PA

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