Sunday, March 8, 2015

Bitner Coke Works-Bitner, PA

The Bitner Mine and Coke Works were constructed between 1904 and 1905 by the H.C. Frick Coke Company. The last mention I could find of them operating was 1943. Originally there were 200 ovens constructed and we know there were two blocks. In 1908 Bitner is listed as having 300 ovens.


Today there are still two blocks of ovens. Most are in really bad condition but a section on the back side of the block closest to Bitner Road remains in somewhat decent condition. Also the ovens seem very large here and the openings seem very small. 


The coke works were served by the B&O Railroad initially which ran on the west side of Bute Run. On the east side of Bute Run was the West Penn Railways Electric Railroad which ran the interurban trolley lines throughout the coke region. 


The back end of the block furthest from the road. The ovens are in bad shape but the wall of the coke yard is very intact.

Close up of the wall.

These ovens really aren't bad, they're just missing the fronts. Other than that they appear to be pretty solid.

Someone bore a hole through to the other side of the block. I crawled through it to get to the other side.

Looking out at the block closest to the road.

The other end of the hole.

The coke yard was very flooded.

Here the fronts are very intact but the ovens themselves are not.

It is a very nice section.

Looking through the center of the coke yard.

The outer layer of bricks in the arch seem like they've been peeled away.

And then it just ends. What happens with these ovens is beyond me.

This one individual oven was enormous and almost perfectly intact.

The inside was rough.

If you imagine really hard, you can almost see the trains being loaded here.

Nice intact wall.

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