PRESERVING HISTORY.

In my last Post about the Lytle Colliery, I had mentioned that I was having trouble finding this place.  Well, after 2 day’s of snooping around and asking questions and talking with other local people of the area, I finially found this elusive place off one of the main traveled roads in Minersville.  I found that I just did not go far enough up the road.  It was located on a 2 lane coal dirt covered road.  By the looks of it, you could hardly know that there was once a mighty, coal producing Colliery in the area, until you got closer to the property that it once stood on.

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After turning on to this 2 lane coal dirt covered road and driving in coal dirt that I was not sure if my car would make it, I came across this, as I was told it would be.  There were no “Private Property or Keep Out” signs, so I continued on.  Behind my car, the dirt road goes back about a half mile to the main road thru Primrose.  It was bumpy, full of holes, coal dirt, and soft ground that I was afraid of getting stuck in with the car that is not built for roads such as this.

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This is a “Tool Shed” that has been on this spot since 1902.  I’m surprised it was still standing.

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The only piece of Coal moving machinery left on the property.  Must have sat here for many years.  Don’t think it works anymore!

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This is the only large cement wall that is left over from the Colliery.

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This is looking down the “road” that leads to really nothing but piles of Coal Clum that is a left over from the Colliery.  That Black dirt is very soft.  If you choose to drive thru or walk in it, there is a real good chance you’ll sink in a bit far.  Not a good idea, unless you walk over to the left.

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Looking down from where the Colliery used to stand.

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More Coal waste, with the bleak landscape.

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Even though there is nothing here any longer, this is what remains of the Lytle/Primrose Coal Colliery that was in operation from 1890-1950 employing more than 300 miners and working all 3 shifts to supply the Nation with Coal.  The name Primrose comes from the Primrose Coal Vein that runs right under this land.  The other main part of the Colliery is on the top left where you see the tall attena.

Unfortantlly, there is a very sad note that goes along with this Image.  In the late afternoon of April 20, 1892, a near-by Coal Shaft that had filled with water over the years, broke thru another Vein and flooded a active Mine Shaft just when the shift change was happening, drowning 10 miners.  There is no Memorial around that I know of to give Tribute to these Miners who lost their Life.  Over the many years, when Coal was King, hundreds of Coal Miners lost their lives in these man made hell holes in the ground.

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Looks like a black Moon-scape to me.  I did not walk down thru all this.  This is what you see allot of around a old abandonded Coal Breaker or Colliery.  The buildings in the far foreground are part of Primrose.

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The left over Coal dirt that seems never to end makes the Country side so empty and not life giving to any wildlife that may be in the area.  Sadly, I don’t think their is any.

Thank You.

LYTLE COLLIERY

As most of you already know, I love the Historical area of the Coal Region where so much History is still around, and some of it is gone but always remembered by those who know.

Just a few day’s ago, I had grabbed my camera gear, and headed back up to my favorite region looking for a specific area to try and find.  A long time friend of my Wife, who she has know since High School and has lived in Minersville all of her life, told her that there used to be a Colliery/Breaker up in a area called Primrose.  I knew about Primrose from before but just really never knew where it was located.

So, I packed up my camera gear and headed up to the region that she was talking about.  I sorta knew about where Primrose was, but not exactly sure.  Found out by calling my Wife’s good friend and asking her just where this place is.  Primrose is located just on the outskirts of Minersville on RT209 North.  Now, the reason I missed it was because you have to take a small road off the main one.  I never knew that.

I found Primrose. The little Town of Primrose was named after the Primrose Coal Vein that ran thru the area.  Upon arriving there I saw such a nice, quaint little Town nestled in a small valley.  It only had 10 or 12 very well kept white Homes that were all bunched together.  It was what you could call a “Coal Patch”.  I drove thru it hoping to catch someone outside so I could ask questions, but no one was around.  Drove down the dirt road as far as I could, but found nothing on where the Colliery used to be.  Turned around and came back the way I came in.  Frustrated that I did not find what I was looking for I left the area.  What I should have done is stopped and took a Image of this little “Patch” just to show you what it is.  So, anyway  . .  .  .

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After coming home with nothing to show, I searched the Internet for what may be there about the Primrose Colliery/Breaker.  This is what I could find.

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I know that this Colliery/Breaker is in the area that I looked for, but just can’t seem to find it.  I will be going back up there again in the near future and this time I’ll find it by asking around from those who may remember.

Thank You & Happy Holidays.

COAL HOLE

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Photographed in the outskirts of Coaldale, PA is what remains of a Coal Hole that was used years ago to remove Coal that was fairly close to the ground surface.

Known also as a “Strippie Mine” Coal was dug out and shipped to a near-by Colliery for further process where shale and stone were removed from the Coal.  The Shale & Stone that was not wanted was then dumped near-by creating what is called a “Clum Pile.”  Thru out the Coal Region area there are many Clum Piles that still exist from all the different mines that were in the region.

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This is not my Image, but it shows just what a “Clum Pile” looks like.  Today, they are more used for 4 wheeling and play area’s.  Just outside of Tamaqua there are many of these.

Most of these “Holes” were quite deep.  Some of them were known to be over 100 ft. deep or more.  Miners back then sometimes left the machinery at the bottom of the Pit and then moved on to another dig.  Over the many passing years, the Strippie filled with Spring and rain water creating just a deep water filled hole in the ground.  The water in them is very cold.  During Winter months they freeze over and create a skating area, but don’t fall in!

My Wife was born & raised in the Coal area.  She can still remember going swimming in one of these during her HS years, because of no place else to go, and it was free.  No charge to swim here, but it can take your Life if not careful.  Coal machinery left over in these can be just hidden below the surface of the water!  Jump or dive in may have you encounter a un-wanted object that you don’t know is there.  There have been reports of this kind of death.

A good portion of these Holes are now gone.  Filled in with ground from other places, it then looks like nothing was ever there.  Only those who remember know.

Thank You.