|Monastery Mine & Coke Works
Located on the west side of PA Rt. 981, .25 miles Southwest of Latrobe, east of Dorothy, West Latrobe, Unity Twp., Westmoreland Co., Pennsylvania
Owners: (ca.1870's-1880's), Carnegie & Company of Pittsburgh, PA
owners of Edgar Thomson Steel Works
(ca.1880's-1913), H.C. Frick Coke Company, Scottdale, PA
Company Store: Union Supply Company
|A New Map of the Connellsville Coke Region
and Adjacent Fields, South Western Pennsylvania. ca.1910, by J.B.
(Map courtesy of the Latrobe Area Historical Society, Archives Collections, Latrobe, PA.)
|Map of Monastery, ca.1902. A portion
of the U.S.G.S. Latrobe, Pennsylvania 15 min. Quad. map ca.1902, showing
the coal patch town of Monastery, located on the hill west of the Monastery
Mine. The Monastery Mine & Coke Works, was located on the
main line of the Pennsylvania Railroad.
(Map courtesy of United States Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Washington, D.C.)
Nothing survives of the Monastery Mine & Coke Works. These were located on the west side of PA Rt. 981, east of the Village of Dorothy, just west of Latrobe. A portion of the old Pennsylvania Railroad mainline grade that ran near the Monastery Mine & Coke Works can still be traced through the St. Vincent Farm lands just east of Beatty Station almost to the Monastery Mine location. The tipple of the Monastery Mine was on a mine spur line off of the Unity Branch of the Pennsylvania Railroad.
|The ca.1902 Latrobe, Pennsylvania Quad map
shows a coal patch town of house just north of the Monastery Mine & Coke
Works, this could be the housing built by the Edgar Thomson Steel Company
for the workers at the Monastery Mine & Coke Works. This housing
patch was located south of the Lyonsville Heights area of Unity Township.
There may be one of these houses that still exists, the rest have been replaced
by post World War II housing.
A group of approximately twenty-five single and double houses are located in West Latrobe, west of Loyalhanna Creek. These houses may have been built by the Edgar Thomson Steel Company to house its employees who worked at the nearby Monastery Mine. They date from the late nineteenth century and are two-story wood-frame buildings with gable and rubble-stone foundations. Again, most of these residences have been altered with porch enclosures and metal siding placed over the original wood-siding.
Carnegie & Company of Pittsburgh, having established the Edgar Thomson Steel Works at Braddock Heights, in Braddock, PA in ca.1874, opened the Monastery Mine & Coke Works near West Latrobe in the late 1870's. When Carnegie & Company and the H.C. Frick Coke Company joined interests in the 1880's, the Monastery Mine & Coke Works passed into the hands of the H.C. Frick Coke Company, Scottdale, PA.
|"Work is progressing as rapidly as the weather
will permit on the one hundred new coke ovens now in the course of construction
at the Monastery Works, west of Latrobe."
(From the "Latrobe Advance, " Wednesday, April 20,1881, Latrobe, PA).
|By 1890 H.C. Frick Coke Company operated 208 bee-hive coke ovens at the Monastery Mine & Coke Works. The mine and coke works were served by the Pittsburgh Division of the Pennsylvania Railroad, on the Unity Branch of the Pennsylvania Railroad. Throughout the late-nineteenth century the Monastery Mine typically produced about 140,000 to 160,000 tons of coal and 50,000 to 110,000 of coke per year. The mine employed about 100 miners and the coke works had about 80 coke works employees.|
|Monastery Mine and Coke Works remained one
of the smallest H.C. Frick Coke Company operations through the early
In 1906, John Lazerena, an Italian Miner, was injured in the Monastery Mine, his fingers were crushed and amputated.
By the mid 1910's, when many of the other H. C. Frick properties were reaching their highest production levels, the Monastery Mine and Coke Works were idle. In 1910 Monastery Mine & Coke Works had 150 bee-hive coke ovens.
|Its last year of operation was in ca.1913,
in which the mine produced a mere 14,000 tons of coal, and the Monastery
Mine & Coke Works employed 102 miners. After it closed the H.C. Frick
Coke Company workers who resided in West Latrobe were forced to find employment
at the other nearby H.C. Frick Coke Company properties of Dorothy Mine &
Coke Works or Baggaley Mine & Coke Works or were forced to relocate to
some of the other mines and towns in the area.
(History and description of the Monastery Mine & Coke Works, with additional data and pictures adapted from "Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania: An Inventory of Historic Engineering and Industrial Sites, 1994," 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 1903 Sanborn Insurance Map of Latrobe,
showing the Monastery Mine & Coke Works, southwest of Latrobe, West Latrobe,
Unity Twp., Westmoreland Co., PA
(Map courtesy of the Latrobe Area Historical Society, Archives Collections, Latrobe, PA)
Memorial, Monastery Mine & Coke Works,
Monastery, West Latrobe, Unity Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania"
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