Saturday, March 23, 2013

Jimtown/Penn Manor No. 1 Coke Ovens

There were 43 coke ovens located at the Jimtown mine. This was the only coking operation in Penn Township. These ovens last appeared on county tax lists in 1900. In 1908 the official name of the Jimtown Mine became Penn Manor No. 1.

 The beginning of the mine and coke works dates back to 1884 when Thomas Moore acquired 470 acres of coal lands between Manor and Harrison City. Moore had a 98% interest in the New York and Westmoreland Gas Coal Company which was formed the same year. In late summer 1889 the properties of the company were conveyed by sheriff sale to F.L. Stephenson. On August 1, 1895, Stephenson along with co-partner George I. Whitney sold the property and mineral rights for $527,000 to the Penn Manor Shaft Company. The PMSC was formed in 1894 by Greensburg and Latrobe interests. At this time the assets at Jimtown included both shaft and slope entries, a tipple, farm house, blacksmith shop, brick engine house, brick boiler house as well as the engines and boilers for operating the mine. The coke works, which date back to the New York and Westmoreland era, were probably included as well. 

Penn Manor sold its interests on November 2, 1903 to the Pittsburgh and Westmoreland Coal Company. A few years later P&WCC became simply Pittsburgh-Westmoreland Coal. After operating the mine for a decade Pittsburgh-Westmoreland sold it to the Union Coal Company. Eventually other mines of the Union Coal Company would be transferred back to Pittsburgh-Westmoreland Coal but by 1923 the Jimtown mine had ceased operations.



This oven is all but buried. One of the reasons I began photographing coke ovens was because eventually they are all going to be lost either by nature reclaiming them or people knocking them out for redevelopment. This oven will be invisible in a decade.

Old pieces of steel rail.

This is a big pile of pipes that were part of the system used to quench the coke before unloading the ovens.

Looking down the old Manor Valley Branch of the Pennsylvania Railroad.

Old supports for a railroad bridge that once crossed Bushy Run.

One of the big steel sides from the bridge.

More bridge ruins.

The other side of the bridge.



  1. I'm surprised nobody has scrapped that steel!
    nice photos

  2. Thanks! That is a lot of steel. It's an easy walk or bike ride back there but getting a truck in would be very difficult.

  3. I would really like to try and find this. It would make for a good day trip and a cool music video. Do you have a google map of this?
    Steve Sciulli

  4. Hi Mike, these are very cool. Do you know about the ruins from the biddle mine not far in westmoreland city. regards, Dave

    1. Hi Dave, I have never been back there but always suspected something would be left. Is it worth checking out?