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SUMMERLEE & LOCHGELLY

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These are two sister mining camps. They were opened about 100 years ago, and both were operated by Stuart Collieries, a subsidiary of the New River Company. Both were shaft mines down into the Sewell seam, which averages 48-inches in the area. The White Oak Railway, a joint venture by the Virginian and C&O, served the mines. The mine at Summerlee exploded in 1906 and 23 people were killed. The Lochgelly mine blew up in 1907, resulting in the death of 84 miners. This gave the mines a bad reputation, and caused the company to change the names of the mines from Parral to Summerlee and from Stuart to Lochgelly. Eventually the mines were connected underground.


The Summerlee company store closed in 1958, the same year the mines closed. (Sep. 2001 image by author)


The remains of the Summerlee mines: The lamp house and the engine house. The tipple was to the left. (Sep. 2001 image by author)


Detail of the lamp house, where the miners could store the lamps that clip on their hats, and the batteries that power them. But, unlike other lamp houses, this one doesn't appear to have any means for charging the batteries. (Sep. 2001 image by author)


The engine house (to run the mine shaft hoist and generate electricity for the mines) and, to the far left, the super's office. (Sep. 2001 image by author)


The Summerlee slate dump. (Sep. 2001 image by author)


There are some residents still left in the camp. The metal roofs and brick chimneys are what gives these away as company-built homes. (Sep. 2001 image by author)


The Lochgelly coal preparation plant back in the day (from the out of print book "The New River Company-Mining Coal and Making History 1906-1976")


These industrial buildings are what remains of the Lochgelly coal preparation facility. (Sep. 2001 image by author)


A facade on the front of this building hides the fact that it was the Lochgelly company store. It is the only New River Company store I have ever seen executed in cream colored brick. It probably closed the year the mine did, 1974. At the time of this photo the building housed a clinic. (Sep. 2001 image by author)


The store shown when it was newer and was still a New River Co. store. (Image from the out of print book "The New River Company-Mining Coal and Making History 1906-1976")


Looking down an alley in the Lochgelly coal camp. (Sep. 2001 image by author)


A White Oak Railway engine running through Lochgelly (company houses in background). (Image courtesy of Walter Caldwell)


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