Saturday, August 31, 2013

Duquesne Coke Works- Bradenville, PA

I've been having a rough time finding much history about these ovens. I have found from circa 1892 to some time before 1900 this coke works was owned by the St. Clair Coal And Coke Company of Bradenville. I have also found the Bessemer Coke Company owned them at one point in the early 1900's. In the Pennsylvania Inspectors Of Bituminous Coal Mines Ledger of 1900-1901, St. Clair is listed as being operated by Bessemer. I am unsure how many ovens there were initially but right now there is a nice battery of bank ovens. Some are in really nice shape and some are more deteriorated. At least one is currently inhabited.

A couple of the nicer ovens. Most of the brickwork remains intact.



One of the more deteriorated ones. I think the trees that always seem to be growing in the ovens are what's responsible for destroying them.


This is a perfectly dissected oven showing all parts of the ovens.

This oven was inhabited but I was told that the occupants moved out. The brick pillow looks rather uncomfortable.

I love the arched brickwork.



This looks like old furniture.

I was told that this one was also recently occupied.

Amazing stonework.


I love this brickwork.


A piece of remaining hardware.

Three in a row of the more deteriorated ovens.

Two of the better preserved ones.

This oven seems to have lost all its dirt fill as well as the front.

Local shooting range.


This is Kevin. Kevin lives in one of the ovens and has stayed here for the past 7 years. According to him, there were others staying here but they recently left. He showed me around the camp and told me all about coke oven living. Kevin was a very nice guy and claims he didn't move into his coke oven as a result of hard times but got tired of everyday society.

Kevin showing me around.

Kevins oven.
The roof Kevin fashioned over his coke oven. He said he used to use a tarp but had problems with it blowing away.

Kevin sitting next to his fire.

Kevins bike and the front of the oven.

Thanks to Ray at http://patheoldminer.rootsweb.ancestry.com/ for directing me to this site. Be sure to check out his website for in depth information on the mines and coke plants in our area.

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