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.
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.
This is a “Tool Shed” that has been on this spot since 1902. I’m surprised it was still standing.
The only piece of Coal moving machinery left on the property. Must have sat here for many years. Don’t think it works anymore!
This is the only large cement wall that is left over from the Colliery.
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.
Looking down from where the Colliery used to stand.
More Coal waste, with the bleak landscape.
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.
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.
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.
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 . . . .
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.
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.
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.
I know that I’ve posted a B&W Image before that was taken in Paris France sometime in 1944 just before my Mother & Father were married. This is a color Image that I made using my Paint Shop Pro X9 Ultimate Program.
I tried to get the color of Army Uniforms as close to the real thing. I didn’t know the color’s, so had to do some research on them. This is about right.
About 2 weeks ago, I was notified via text message that my Fleetwood Class of 1966 was having a small gathering at a local known restraunt. I decided I’d go and see some Classmates that I’ve not seen in 5 yrs. or more. Most all of our Class is now up to 70 yrs. of age. The Committie that put this together decided to have a gathering now once a year, instead of every 5 yrs. like has been done before. I think it’s a good idea.
This Image was taken with my phone. Not very good, but it just shows my Class together all catching up on what’s been happening with everyone. We all have changed alot in the passing years. Some of my Class could not make it and some Classmates are gone due to their passing. So far, we have lost 5 members.
Now, bear with me a bit. Let’s go back in time to 1964. This is a Image taken by my date’s Father before we went to a High School Dance on a Saturday night. My Date is Carol. I was scared to death to call her and ask her to go to the dance with me. Remember. Back in those day’s, to ask a girl out you would have to have her Home phone number. Not a Cell Phone number. There was no such thing back then. You’d call and ask her to go, hoping she would and not say that she could not. Back in those day’s it was a horrible feeling when she said “No Thank You.” Of course, there was no text, either. My Mother was our transportation to and from the dance. My Mother asked me what color her dress was going to be. I had no idea why she wanted to know that then. Well, it was for a flower to match the color. She ordered a flower called a Symbitium. I didn’t know what they were then. The Flower is on her left wrist not shown.
Here we are again! This time it’s 50+ years later. Carol and I have always been in touch with each other ever since, but both of us went our seperate way’s. I went off to join the US Navy and she went on to College to learn Music and become a Music teacher for 34 yrs. Now, she’s married with 2 children that are all grown up. Like me, Carol Retired from teaching and now traveling as much as she can. I have always, always had a special place in my heart for this Lady. She has never been forgotten. Never will be. I think that she is the one that got away.
Here I am! This Image was taken in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii sometime not too long after I reported aboard my Destroyer in November of 1965. The Image does not show that I’m half scared to death. I’m right out of High School, in a strange place, have no idea where I’m going, or what is in store for me. I’m like most others that can’t see what is in my future. I had to learn fast. I had to grow up quickly. I always wanted to be in the US Navy to see the world. I did just that. I sailed all over the Pacific Ocean from Hawaii, Japan, Phillipense, Okinowa, Vietnam, Pago Pago, New Zeland and Austraila. I came home a different person. There was one thing that I was never told about after I enlisted and that was there was a War going on that I knew nothing about. I found out!
Here is my Destroyer that I was aboard for 3 yrs. It was my Home. This Image was taken as we entered Sydney, Austrailia coming off the gun line in Vietnam for 4 day’s of R&R. The Opera House in the background was just being completed then.
This is a Image that I took while on the Port Side. We just got done taking on amunition, stores, and fuel from the USS Pontchatula, a supply ship. The Carrier is the USS Ranger, I think. Don’t quite remember.
Here we are at the Floating Gardens in Hong Kong. I’m on the far right with my NEW camera that I bought here. I just made E-3 and we were all out celebrating. The Floating Gardens were a outstanding place to see and eat in. I could not read any Chineese, so we ordered what looked good! We were given so much food that it was not all eaten!
The Ribbons that I earned for my Dress Uniform which still hang in the closet draped in plastic. From left to right is the Good Conduct Ribbon, the Vietnam Service Ribbon, with one Bronze Star, and the Vietnam Defense Ribbon.
Now, I just want to say that I’m not “tooting my own horn” here. Just wanted to show what was part of my Life. Being in the Navy during those years opened my eyes to many things in the world. I’ve seen things that most people will never see. Some of it was not good, while others were interesting and eye opening. Coming home on leave in 1967, I had bottles, coke cans and was spit at in Travis AFB in California. Just because I was a Vietnam Vet. We we not cared about back then, like now. People just did not care about what our Marines and our Armed Forces went thru. No parades, no Welcome Home, no nothing! Most all of us never knew that was going to happen.
After getting out of the Navy, I used to have some bad dreams about seeing Dead bodies of Vietcong in the water. Their “Junk” was fired on by my Destroyer for carrying arms back and forth to North Vietnam. There was not much left. I won’t go into detail. It was not pretty to see.
In closing, I would like to take time to say “THANK YOU” to all our other Veterens that are out there. Some of you endured more than what I had to.
From a Grateful US Navy Vet.