Connellsville Coke

Connellsville Coke (HM1GBZ)

Location: Connellsville, PA 15425 Fayette County
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Country: United States of America
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N 40° 2.447', W 79° 37.569'

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Fueling the steel mills

Coal was mined in this region and transformed into coke in beehive ovens. Almost pure carbon, coke burns hotter than coal and was crucial to the success of Pittsburgh's steel making.

One of the largest coking complexes was Adelaide, founded by Henry Clay Frick in 1888 and named for his wife. By 1910 it consisted of a coal mine, 375 coke ovens and housing for employees. It stretched from this area to nearly one mile downstream where a few partial ovens remain. In 1916, at peak production, 223,908 tons of coal were mined here and reduced to 149,270 tons of coke.

"...Pittsburgh built some of the new hot-blast furnaces and fueled them with Connelsville coke, easily available over the new railroad.* After that, if Pittsburgh made the Coke Region, the Coke Region made Pittsburgh because it was her coal fields that gave Pittsburgh a running start." Cloud by Day, 1947.

* The new railroad was the: "P.McK & Y. RR" (see map at right), now the trail.

In this 1899 photograph, you can see the wooden coal tipple behind the coke workers. Men used the fourteen-tine coke forks to transfer the steaming coke into wheelbarrows which were then dumped into waiting railroad car for the trip to the blast furnaces. Coal and Coke Heritage Center, Penn State Fayette.

From atop, lorry wagons emptied coal into the hot ovens. The front openings were bricked up to control the burn. Two or three days later, the finished coke was pulled out. By 1910, 44,252 of the 55,166 coke ovens in Pennsylvania were located in the Connellsville Coke Region. Coal and Coke Heritage Center, Penn State Fayette.

From the late 1800s and into the early 1900s, the Connellsville region was the world's coke producing center. This map shows the many coke works near Adelaide in 1899. Notice how many are owned by the H.C. Frick Coke Company. Coal and Coke Heritage Center, Penn State Fayette.

Great Allegheny Passage. For more information: , [sic].

Placed BySouthwestern PA Heritage Preservation Commission, Allegheny Trail Alliance, Regional Trail Corporation
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, October 15th, 2014 at 6:31pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17T E 617203 N 4433187
Decimal Degrees40.04078333, -79.62615000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 40° 2.447', W 79° 37.569'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds40° 2' 26.82" N, 79° 37' 34.14" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)724
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 35100-35320 Great Allegheny Passage (North), Connellsville PA 15425, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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