Saturday, February 7, 2015

Shirey Coke Works- Unity Township

There is not a whole lot to be found about the Shirey Coke Works. According to the 1918 book "Old And New Westmoreland County" Isaac Oliver Shirey was a descendant of  "old and well known Pennsylvania families" and was "one of the most successful farmers and public-spirited citizens of Westmoreland County".  He was the grandson of David Shirey, who owned several farms in the region and gave one to each of his children. At the time of his fathers death in 1897, Isaac inherited the farm. One year later he sold the farm to the South Fayette Coal and Coke Company of Uniontown, who constructed the 36 ovens. However, Shirey is listed as a new mine in the 1907 Report Of The Department Of Mines Of Pennsylvania. The mine is listed as abandoned in 1917. 

Today there is one bank of ovens remaining at the Shirey Coke Works. Located between Hostetter and Baggaley, it's safe to say that all 36 ovens remain. The ovens themselves are in deteriorated condition and no longer contain the front walls. Other than a small slate dump there is no indication of any mining activity in the area. 


This is the condition of the all the ovens.

The Unity Branch of The Pennsylvania Railroad can be seen to the right.

A closeup of the inside brickwork.

Looking out toward the Unity Branch.

There were some very interesting tree roots growing on these ovens.

This root is crazy!

A furry vine growing up this tree.


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