Sunday, March 20, 2016

Lemont No. 2 Coke Works

Lemont No 2. was listed as a new mine in the 1890 Reports of the Inspectors of Mines. It was operated by the McClure Coke Company and initially contained 300 ovens. 50 more ovens were added in 1895 and 350 would be the final oven count during the plants lifetime. McClure operated this plant until 1900 when the plant was taken over by the H.C. Frick Coke Company. Frick would operate Lemont No. 2 until at least 1920. Throughout the 1930's, and until at least 1945 the plant was operated by the Lemont Coal and Coke Company. In August 1948 the Pittsburgh Post Gazette reported that the King Coal & Coke Company fired 100 of the ovens after "leasing the property from Charles H. Friday". Charles Friday purchased the plant in March 1948 from the H.C. Frick Coke Co.  This suggests that the Lemont C&C Co. was just leasing the plant from Frick. The newspaper article states "The Firm (King) spent three weeks on reconstruction work and expects to have the plant in full operation with 300 beehive coke ovens September 15". 


In 1966 Charles Friday, who also had coal interests in Bobtown, Greene County,  ran an ad in the paper telling hunters and the general public that the land where Lemont No. 2 is located is posted as No Trespassing.

October 5, 1966 Uniontown Evening Standard.


How long the King operation lasted is unclear. There is an ad in the Uniontown Evening Standard from February 19, 1955 seeking truckers to haul coal. Whether the ovens were going in 1955 is unspecified. We can see from comparing aerials from 1939 and 1959 the difference in the landscape.



The 1939 aerial shows two blocks of completely disintegrated ovens.



The 1959 aerial shows one block but it appears to have been rebuilt.



Today there are a few ovens left in the block visible in the 1959 aerial. These ovens are in very poor condition. The portion of the block closest to the road is completely missing. 




This is a portion of the Lemont No. 2 mine map as it was shown in the 1893 Reports of the Inspectors of Mines. It clearly shows the 300 original ovens. It is completely unclear where the 50 additional ovens were built. They don't appear anywhere on later mine maps and the aerials also show no indication of them.



This is what's left today.




This is honestly as good as it gets at Lemont No. 2. You can see a very small portion of the stone retaining wall to the left of the oven.

Overgrown and forgotten.

There are ovens on the back of the block still. Nothing stood out as being any different from this side. The other side of the block borders very close to a residence.

These ovens are all just collapsing.

This is all that is left of these ovens.


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