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.
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.