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Coal Miners Memorial, Yukon Mine & Coke Works, Upper Whyel, Yukon, Sewickley Twp., Westmoreland Co., PA

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Yukon Mine & Coke Works,
Whyel Coke Company,
Upper Whyel, near Yukon,
Sewickley Township,
Westmoreland County,
Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

A Tribute to the Coal Miners that mined the Bituminous Coal seams at Yukon Mine, Sewickley Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania

Compiled & Edited by
Raymond A. Washlaski

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

Updated Oct. 7, 2009

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Yukon Mine & Coke Works (ca.1908-1960's),
Located .1 mile W. of SR 3012/3060, adjacent to stream, Upper Whyel, Yukon, Sewickley Twp., Westmoreland Co., PA
Owners: (ca.1908-     ?   ), Whyel Coke Company, Uniontown, PA
              (ca.  ?   -1960's), King Coal Company, Uniontown, PA

DESCRIPTION:
The Yukon Coke Works and Yukon Mine at Upper Whyel have been partially destroyed by strip mining and only fifty bee-hive coke ovens and a weigh station were extant, ca.1994.  The brick bee-hive coke ovens are located above the stream along an old railroad grade.  The weigh station stands near the coke ovens and contains German frame siding and a Howell scale. One other concrete-block building in ruins is located north of the one-story wood-frame weigh station.

Only fifteen company-built houses survive in the town of Upper Whyel.  These are wood-frame dwellings and include single-family and double houses.

Map of Yukon, Upper Whyel and Lower Whyel.

HISTORY:
Led by Harry Whyel, the Whyel Coke Company of Uniontown, Fayette County, established the town of Whyel; and the Yukon Mine & Coke Works in 1908.   This company also owned the Thomas Mine and Coke Works in Fayette County, and the Ellen Mines and Coke Works, near Whitney, Unity Township, Westmoreland County.

The drift-entry Yukon Mine ran 1,500 feet into the Pittsburgh Coal Seam, which averaged 84 inches thick in the vicinity of Whyel.

The Yukon Coke Works was constructed in Upper Whyel, along a tributary of Sewickley Creek. By 1910 the Yukon Mine & Coke Works operation employed eighty-nine miners and coke workers. The Yukon Mine miners produced nearly 47,000 tons of coal in 1910, the coke works, containing just thirty-six bee-hive coke ovens, was operated very little.

By 1914 the Yukon Mine & Coke Works, of the Whyel Coke Company, employed 126 miners.  In 1913 Yukon Mine miners had produced nearly 224,000 tons of coal, operating electric-powered cutting machines and using three electric-powered locomotives for hauling the coal from the mine to the coke ovens.  The Whyel Coke Company probably purchased the electricity used at the Yukon Mine from the nearby Magee Mine powerhouse, of the Westmoreland Coal Company.  The Yukon Mine Coke Works contained seventy bee-hive coke ovens.

J. A. Abraham, who had served as the superintendent at Whyel Coke Company's  Ellen Mines and Coke Works near Whitney, in Unity Township, was superintendent at Yukon Mine by the mid 1910's.  

The Yukon Coke Works continued to operate through the early 1960's, its last owner was the King Coal Company, of Uniontown, PA.

John Prokop Stangry, was a miner in the Yukon Mine, he arrived in Yukon from the Ukraine around ca.1914.  He married in Yukon, and had 9 children.  Stangry had attended the University of St. Petersburg, Russia, studying to be a priest.  In Yukon he had built a little classroom in the basement of his house, an taught the children of the town who couldn't speak English, their new language, English.

Whyel Coke Company,
Yukon Mine,
Yukon, PA

Whyel Coke Company Mine, at Whyel, near Yukon, PA, no date.
(Photo courtesy of "Westmoreland History," Vol. 4, No.1, 1998, courtesy of the Westmoreland County Historical Society Archives, Greensburg, PA)
Yukon Coke Works
Yukon Coke Works, Whyel Coke Company, Yukon, PA, no date.
(Photo from "Westmoreland History," Vol. 4, No.1, 1998, courtesy of the Westmoreland County Historical Society Archives, Greensburg, PA)
Yukon Reservoir
The coal company reservoir at Yukon, PA, no date.
(Photo from "Westmoreland History," Vol. 4, No.1, 1998, courtesy of the Westmoreland County Historical Society Archives, Greensburg, PA)
The Yukon Bridge
The concrete bridge over "Big Sewickley Creek", Yukon, PA, no date.
(Photo from "Westmoreland History," Vol. 4, No.1, 1998, courtesy of the Westmoreland County Historical Society Archives, Greensburg, PA)
A resident of Yukon, in front of his house, no date.
(Photo from "Westmoreland History," Vol. 4, No.1, 1998, courtesy of the Westmoreland County Historical Society Archives, Greensburg, PA)

(History and description of the Yukon Mines & 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.)

"Coal Miners Memorial, Yukon Mine & Coke Works,
Upper Whyel, Yukon, Sewickley Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania"
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