Sunday, November 8, 2015

Smiley Coke Works

The Smiley Coke Works were built around the same time as the Shoaf Coke Works directly across the road. Both date back to 1904 and were built by the H.C. Frick Coke Company. The Smiley Coke Works contained 146 ovens and there is not too much more information that I've been able to find about these ovens. There are mentions of a 1919 Smiley Coal Company opening a mine that year but this seems to be something entirely different. There is a John William Smiley who worked for the H.C. Frick Coke Co. and, according to his obituary, "was well known throughout the coke region". Perhaps the plant was named for him. It is odd how little information there is on the Smiley Coke Works. We do know they were idle in 1909, could that have been it for Smiley? Did they concentrate more on Shoaf and abandon Smiley? We visited this site two weeks ago and I've been searching for information since then.  Any information on these ovens would be greatly appreciated.


There is not too much left of the Smiley ovens.  The ovens that remain are in very poor condition.  There is a large mine dump behind the ovens and a very intact wharf wall but nothing else seems to remain.


These were the condition of all the ovens.


The slightest bit of remaining retaining wall.

Mary Jane looking around outside of the ovens.


The nice and intact coke yard wall.

The large slate dump.

A nice sleeper stone from the larry tracks on top of the ovens.

The remains of a possible old mine building.



  1. Nice coke oven reports Mike!
    Eric Johnson

  2. Did you see a shell of an old industrial building on Fan House Road?