The Valley Coke Works are located south of Everson off of the railroad. All the fronts are missing but some of the remaining ovens are in relatively decent condition considering their age. The coke works were built in 1869 by the Wilson, Boyle and Playford Company and eventually contained 250 ovens. The H.C. Frick Company leased the plant in 1877, which was idle at the time and contained 102 ovens. He re-fired the ovens and took over operations until finally purchasing the coke works on Feb. 28, 1882 and operating it until it was abandoned in 1918.
There are two banks of ovens and they sit parallel to each other.
|I couldn't count them but I wouldn't be surprised if all 250 ovens remain. There were a lot of ovens!|
|None of the fronts remain. Only the back halves.|
|This one was interesting. Notice the hole on the left that goes into the other oven. In the back, where the rag is, were the remains of a huge old hornets nest.|
|It was hard to get a picture. Could it be a beehive in a beehive oven?|
|This is the other bank that sits behind the other one.|
The Tip-Top Coke Works, sitting further down the railroad, are in incredibly bad shape. They are very easy to miss and only a handful are even identifiable as coke ovens.
The Tip-Top Mine and Coke Works began operations in 1878 by the Charles Armstrong Company. They were purchased by the H.C. Frick Company in 1879. Circa 1908 they contained 121 ovens. I'm not sure how long they remained operational but circa 1917 they were purchased by the Tyrone Coal Company of Connellsville.
|I think a lot of it has to do with the steep hillside behind them. It looks like a lot of erosion probably just buried them.|
|The coke oven track sitting above the current SWPA Railroad.|