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


  1. Thanks Coke Oven Mike. These pictures bring back memories from when I was a kid. Much appreciated!

    1. Thanks for looking! I'm glad you enjoyed the photos.

  2. I live in Allison #2 the bridge you show in the last pictures was for a street car that went from Republic to Brownsville. The building next to the tiple was used to bring the hoppers up from the mine and dump the coal into the tiple was told it also work the elevators to bring the men up and down from the mine. There was another building close to the tiple they bull dozed down that was a repair shop for the train cars and trains the mine used.

    1. Thanks Shawn! I'll add that info to the bridge picture.

  3. The tipple itself is not there any longer. My father used to go up to the top everyday and oil the wheels. He really enjoyed yelling to my Mother when she was hanging clothes in our back yard because he knew she was scared that he went up there every day!

    1. Thanks for sharing Marie. That's a pretty funny story.

  4. Great Pics Mike.
    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.

  5. Mike, the building that you showed that looked like it had a large wooden barrel with steel rings around the unit. It would have been used to hold water that was used to quench the coke. There were two of these at Collier. They were about 20 ft. across and 10 ft high and banded in the same manner. The slabs where they were above the ovens are still there at the end of Collier Ave, left side of the road overlooking the ovens. I was born and raised here for the past 72 years and saw all of this in operation till the mine closed in July of 1960. Bob

    1. Thanks Bob! That makes a lot of sense. I appreciate the response. I'm here to learn!