|Penn Gas No. 2 Mine
(Hahntown Mine) (ca.1872- 1953 ),
Shaft No. 1, Shaft No. 2 , and Slope Entry No. 1 , located .25 miles SW of Irwin, along Tinkers Run, on the Youghiogheny Railraod, later the Youghiogheny branch of the Pennsylvania Railroad, between Hahntown and Adams Hill (Scab Hill), Hahntown, North Huntingdon Twp., Westmoreland Co., PA
[Penn Gas No. 2 Mine was also called the Adams Mine & Hahntown Mine.]
Owners: (ca.1872-1918), Penn Gas Coal Company, Philadelphia, PA
(ca.1918-1953), Westmoreland Coal Company, Irwin, PA
Although the most visually striking group of coal company-built houses stands on Adams Hill (Scab Hill), the Penn Gas Coal Company also constructed miners dwellings in nearby Hahntown. These house are on the west side of Main Street and are two-story wood-frame double-family houses. Dating from as early as the 1890's, these houses retain much of their original appearance.
The coal company houses on Adams Hill (Scab Hill) were built as a result of the coal miners strike of 1910-11, when the Penn Gas Coal Company sought to keep its mines running with imported workers, scabs & strike-breakers, with a heavy hand from the company's Coal & Iron Police, a common practice of the coal companies. The company built about thirty two-story wood-frame double-family houses near its mine entrance, on the Adams Hill. This community was soon dubbed "Scab Hill" by the resident striking coal miners. These houses survive along three paved roads above the former site of the Penn Gas No. 2 Mine.
The Penn Gas No. 2 Mine buildings were built on the hillside above Tinkers Run. Surviving structures ca.1994, include: the office building, foundry, engine house, boiler house, lamp house, and a small utility building. The office is a one-story common-bond red-brick building with a gable roof. It measures 24ft. x 17ft. and features arched window openings. The foundry is a tall one-story common-bond red-brick building with a gable roof; it measures 46ft. x 42ft. and rests on a stone foundation. The engine house is similar in appearance and measures 87ft. x 46ft.; it features a triple gable roof, double doors, and decorative wooden cornice returns. Attached to the engine house is a metal building. The boiler house is also a tall one-story common-bond red-brick building. It measures 79ft. x 21ft. and has a gable roof covered with slate; three ventilators line the roof which features decorative brackets. The lamp house is a common-bond red-brick building and measures 53ft. x 13ft.; the tall one-story structure has a gable roof and rests on a rubble-stone foundation. The utility building has construction materials similar to the lamp house. It measures 19ft. x 17ft. and has a hipped roof. The building rests on a rubble-stone foundation; its doors and windows have been infilled.
A thirty-stall brick mule barn was recently, ca.1994, demolished. The buildings are currently, ca.1994, being utilized by Stern's, an antique automobile restoration firm, for storage of vehicles and parts. No mine machinery is extant in any of the existing structures. With the exception of the Westmoreland Coal Company's Magee Mine at Yukon and Ocean Coal Company's mine at Herminie, the mine complex at Adams Hill contains more intact buildings than any other historic coal property in Westmoreland County, ca.1994.
Hahntown Area of North Huntingdon Township, ca.1904. from the 15min. topographic map of the Greensburg Quadrangle, of Pennsylvania.
(Map ca.1904, courtesy of the U.S. Geological Survey, from the Topographic and Geologic Atlas of Pennsylvania, Greensburg Quadrangle, 1925)
|In ca.1872 the Penn Gas Coal Company opened
the Penn Gas No. 2 Shaft Mine. This mine was located on the western side
of Hahntown's Main Street across from today's Korner Tavern. The houses seen
on the horizon in the background, are on Fairmont Hill and were inhabited
by some of the coal miners.
(Photo courtesy of Helen Pilipvich, and "Who We Are," by the Norwin Chamber of Commerce.)
North Huntingdon Twp., Westmoreland County, Pa
The S. M. Italiana building was constructed as a social hall by the coal miners which immigrated from northern Italy. It is a one-story building with a full basement, brick walls, a gable roof, and a stepped parapet wall along its main facade. The Societa Veneta building also contains one-story and a full basement. It has brick and cast-stone walls and a gable roof.
The Korner Tavern is one of the early commercial buildings in Hahntown and also served as a hall for town meetings. (A recently produced history of Hahntown identifies the building as having served as a company store; however, residents in the community report that the coal mine operators in Hahntown never ran a store there. The United Mine Workers of America, which gained recognition in Hahntown in the early 1930's, periodically met in this building from the 1930's through the early 1950's.) It is a two-story wood-frame building with asphaltic siding, a gable roof, and a rubble stone foundation. A large building that once served as the church and school was destroyed in a fire.
|HAHNTOWN, North Huntingdon
The character of the town changed as a result of a coal miners' strike in 1910-11. The Penn Gas Coal Company constructed coal company owned houses on Adams Hill, nearer the mine and away from Hahntown, when it brought in "Strike Breakers," workers to break the strike, the coal company "scabs." Hahntown residents subsequently referred to Adams Hill as "Scab Hill." Although the mine closed in ca.1953, a number of houses remain that were constructed on Adams Hill above and east of Main Street.
|Penn Gas No. 2 Mine
By 1880 Penn Gas Coal Company operated four mines in Westmoreland County. This included the Coal Run Mine, Penn Gas No. 1 Mine, the Adams Mine (Penn Gas No. 2 Mine), and the Penn Gas No. 4 Mine at Sewickley Station, The company exported its coal to states in New England, as well as to New York and NEw Jersey, and as far away as Cuba and Mexico. By 1886 the Penn Gas No. 2 Mine (Adams Miine) was the largest of the company's four mines, employing 299 persons. The mine had three openings, two shafts and one slope entry, and produced in 1886 over 133, 000 tons of coal. Twenty-five mules were used to haul the coal from the working face of the mine to the tipple.
By 1900 the mine employed 375 persons. That year miners at Penn Gas No. 2 Mine produced 249,000 tons of coal. The Pennsylvania Railroad, which acquired the Youghiogheny Railroad, and rebuilt the narrow gauge as the Youghiogheny Branch of the Pennsylvania R.R., shipped the Penn Gas coal to market.
Despite the strike in 1910-11, the Penn Gas Coal Company continued to operate its mines, with imported scab labor (strike breakers). In 1910 miners at Penn Gas No. 2 Mine produced nearly 238,000 tons of coal. The company employed 270 miners as strike breakers during the 1910 coal miners strike, which failed because of these underhanded tactics by the coal companies by the summer of 1911.
Until 1910 only company supervisor's families lived on Adams Hill. In 1910 and 1911 during the coal miners strike, the coal company recruited southern and eastern European men, as scabs, to take the striking miners places in the mine, in order to continue operation at the Penn Gas No. 2 Mine. The company provided them with passage from Europe and then New York and also provided new company-built housing on Adams Hill. The striking miners resented this new scab labor and dubbed the settlement on Adams Hill as "Scab Hill."
Penn Gas Coal Company supplemented its mules for hauling coal with four compressed air locomotives. In ca.1913 the Penn Gas No. 2 Mine was electrified, so that cutting machines, hauling and hoisting the coal as well as ventilating the mine was electrically powered. Although, the miners continued to use mules to move the coal within the mine for another 25 years. The Electricity for Penn Gas No. 2 Mine (Adams Mine), Lowber Mine and Rillton Mine (Riley Mine) was generated at the Adams Mine. Eight to ten boiler houses used to line Tinker Run from the Adams Mine. Steam was used to drive water pumps and generate electricity. The water reservoir still sits beside the McCall house on First Street on Adams Hill.
In addition to the compressed air engines used in the Adams Mine, it employed thirteen electric-powered cutting machines. By ca.1913 the company employed 440 miners, who produced nearly 525,000 tons of coal.
(History and description of the Penn Gas No. 2 Mine (Hahntown Mine), adapted from with additional data and pictures "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 Adams Mine of Westmoreland Coal Company,
formerly the Penn Gas Coal Company No. 2 Mine.
(Photo courtesy of "10 Score, North Huntingdon Township, 1733-1973")
|The Adams Mine (Penn Gas No 2 Mine), along
with other Penn Gas Coal Company properties, were acquired in a buy out of
the Penn Gas Coal Company by the Westmoreland Coal Company in 1918. By
1930 the mine employed 221 miners who worked 247 days to produce nearly
210,000 tons of coal. Ten years later the mine employed 190 miners
using five trolley locomotives to produce 1,000 tons of coal daily. The
Westmoreland Coal Company abandoned operations at the Adams Mine on August
By the time the Adams Mine closed in ca.1953 all the coal company owned houses had been sold to the residents. The Bilott family bought the company buildings and the remaining property; in the late fifties they began building homes on Adams Hill. By ca.1973 there were 48 homes on Adams Hill, 36 of them were the original coal company houses.
|In ca.1942, eight men began to organize
the Fairmont-Hahntown Volunteer Fire Department. At this time, the company
was jointly associated with the Larimer department, until the company received
its own charter on July 15, 1944.
A 1929 Model A Ford called "Jigger" was the first fire truck used and a building, owned by Pete Peretto, was the first fire station. In 1944, a 1930 Cadillac fire truck was purchased. A new fire station building was erected in 1953 on the corner of Main and Rose Streets in Hahntown, through generous contributions and the assistance of the Ladies Fire Auxiliary. A new addition to the building was added in 1957.
Ralph D Kautz
Joined: 17 Mar 2004
My favorite PRR branch was/is the Youghiogheny Branch. It started in 1872 as a 3 foot Narrow Gage Railroad built by the Penn Gas Coal Company to service its mine lands. A few years after it was built (date unknown) it was regaged to standard gage and operated as such until it was sold in 1899 to the PRR. It then became the Youghiogheny Branch of the PRR. It served Penn Gas Coal Company Mines at Hanntown and at (Blackburn) now Lowber Pa. The mines and Railroad were sold to Westmoreland Coal Company which operated the railroad for a few years then sold it to the PRR. Passanger Service was on line from 1873 to 1918. The stations were Irwin (point of origin on the PRR mainline), Hanntown, Linencross (now called Cereal),Chambers (now gone) Mcgrews (present day Rillton and former site of the Westmoreland Company Criterion Mine) Dick, now Dicks Station,Cowensburg (Junction with the Hempfield Branch and Youkon Branch PRR) Blackburn (now Lowber) and Gratztown Junction with the B&O Maineline and the Youghiogheny River. The Branch Survived intact until the Lowber and Rillton Mines closed in 1939, abandoned in 1940 but the track was not pulled up until 1945, from Cowensburg to Lindencross tunnel. The line from Irwin Pa to Cereal remained intact until 1982. The track from Gratz town to Cowensburg until 1972, inconjection with the abandonment of the Yukon Branch. From 1904 to 1931 the branch was paralled from Irwin to Rillton by a Trolley Line the Irwin Hermine Line Which left the railroad at Rillton and proceeded along the Clay Pike (Irwin-Hermine Road to Hermine. The road bed is still almost completely intact today, the bridge abutments acrossed Brokers Lane are still there, the small bridges acrossed litte sewickley creek are stiil there. I rode the old Roadbed on my Bicycle in 1955 . It was still clear to Dicks Station the last time I was Home in 1993, although the line from Dicks Station was Still Intact it was very overgrown and Diffacult to Navigate. The lindencross(Cereal) Tunnel still Exists as does the roadbed along Tinkers Run to Irwin.I now live in Knoxville Tn. and don't Get back to Pa. often but I did grow up just to the west of Rillton and saw the last Working Mine on the Branch which Closed in 1953, the Hanntown Mine.
Memorial, Penn Gas No. 2 Mine,
Hahntown, North Huntingdon Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania"
|"Coal Town, Tiny
Hahntown grew with the Miners and Their Families,
Penn Gas No. 2 Mine,
Hahntown, North Huntingdon Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania"
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