Sunday, October 20, 2013

Republic Coke Works

The Republic Mine and Coke Works were a captive operation of the Republic Iron and Steel Company of Youngstown, Ohio.  Republic Iron and Steel, founded in 1899, became Republic Steel in 1930 and was once the third largest steel corporation in the United States. In 1984 Republic merged with J&L to form LTV Steel which filed for bankruptcy in 2001.

The mine and coke works in Republic, PA were opened between 1903 and 1905. By 1905 there were 400 ovens burning. By 1930 the ovens had been shut down. All the coke produced here was shipped to Republic Iron and Steel's mills.

These ovens are in mostly horrible condition. One thing I noticed was that they seemed much larger than other ovens I've found. Two of the ovens here are completely intact while the others are completely dilapidated.

These ovens are actually in better shape than the majority at Republic.

After walking past all the fallen down ovens I came across these two.

Somebody dug through the two ovens making a tunnel linking them. The already large ovens became quite spacious when they were joined together.

A little bit of remaining block wall.

Some remaining hardware at the farther end of the row.


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Allison Mine and Coke Works, Allison, PA

The Allison Mine and Coke Works date back to 1904 and was built by the W.J. Rainey Company of Uniontown.  The ovens are for the most part in very good condition. The remaining coke ovens are part of Allison No. 1. Allison No. 2 was located adjacent to and east of Allison No. 1. There is nothing left of Allison No. 2. There were approximately 293 ovens at No. 1 and most of them remain today although some appear to have been bulldozed. 

These ovens are another great example of the rectangular design. The stone and brick work are amazing. Other buildings remaining at the site are the huge tipple, company store (which served both Allison No.1 and No.2 patch towns), doctors office, and various other buildings.

The mines and coke works closed around the mid 1950's. 

Some of the better preserved ovens. Most of them were like this. Really an amazing site.

Wonderful examples of rectangular ovens.

Inside. The floor is amazingly preserved as well.

The ceiling and walls.

Capped trunnel hole.

Most of the bricks were stamped "Garfield". The ones marked 15x9x4 1/2 were on the inside walls. These bricks may have been manufactured by the Garfield Fire Clay Company near Bolivar.
This is from a 1905 edition of American Manufacturer.

These ones were a little more deteriorated.

There are two blocks with a pier/dock area in between. This block is on the other side.

The Blair Witch coke oven.

These ovens were unloaded by pushing the finished coke through to the other side.

There is a small stream running under both blocks of ovens. I've never seen this before.

The block on the other side with the pier/dock wall showing. The coke was loaded into waiting train cars off this dock.

The end of one of the blocks that appear to be bulldozed.

Another view of the dock area.

This oven still has it's number stamped on it.

The end of one of the blocks.

This fenced off area appears to be a shaft of some sort. Update!! Eric D. wrote me and said   "
The fenced in area that you are saying is a shaft of some sort is actually an opening to the tunnel that re-routed the overflow from the dam under the coke ovens. it's only about 8 ft deep. it is a concrete tunnel about 7 ft wide, and 3 ft high and runs about 100yds to Dunlap creek."

Upside down wheel-less coal cars.
This building was the company store. The building to the right was the doctors office.  There was a building located further back that was the mine office.

The office building. Seems small to me.

Other mine buildings.
This is inside of the building below. The building is located southeast of the other mine buildings.

Pumps of some sort.

This is the tipple and it is massive.

Levers underneath the tipple that open the trap doors to let the coal fall into the trains or larry cars.

Trap doors.

I'm not sure what this wheel under the tipple did.

The side of the tipple.

This is the back of the tipple with the steps that take you inside. I did not attempt to climb these.

This is the top of the tipple.

More stairs.

This building is located behind the tipple.

The roof collapsed into the building.

This is another building that was located to the side of the building. It was pretty inaccessible due to thick and growth and a muddy ravine.

This is the bridge you have to cross to get to the tipple area. It is an old streetcar bridge. The streetcar ran from Republic to Brownsville.

The deck of the bridge.
Hi Mike. Thanks for posting these. My father Joe Cataneo and his father 
worked these ovens back in the day. Dad says there were 400 ovens, 200 #1 
and 200 #2 and they pushed 100 from each section each day. They alternated 
daily. Also, the office located next to the company store was the doctor's 
office.There was another building further back that was the mine office.The 
original company was the Rainey Company and then Hillman Barge took it 
over. Thanks again!

Tony Cataneo