VINTONDALE, PA


Company-built houses along the road coming down the mountain into Vintondale. This patch town was built in 1892 by the Vinton Colliery Company. It was one of the few patches in the Black Lick Field to have beehive coke ovens . There were 152 of them. Also, there was a longwall miner in use at the Vintondale mines at the incredibly early date of the 1910s.


Foundations of the machine shop are some of the very few remnants of the coal mining complex at Vintondale, shown here in the middle of the Vintondale AMD (Acid Mine Drainage) Park. How many other coal towns have their own Acid Mine Drainage parks?


These cut stone walls lined the entry to the Mine No. 3 portal. In 1940 the Vinton Colliery Company reorganized into Vinton Coal and Coke Company.


This huge refuse pile was interesting and fun to walk across. It appears that the coal company stopped just short of burying Black Lick Creek. But you should not walk across hazardous refuse piles unless you are an experienced refuse pile climber because they could be honeycombed in the middle from gob fires. No interesting fossils were found on the Vintondale slate dump.


Patch houses on 4th Street. Mining at Vintondale ended in 1968. However there is an active strip mine on the mountain above Vintondale right now.


The Eliza furnace on the edge of Vintondale was built in 1845 and only operated for a few years. The ironmaking operation was too early to use the coal mined on Black Lick Creek. This furnace used charcoal. By the time coal mining began in the area circa 1990, the furnace had been cold for four decades.

Paulette writes, "I was surprised to find your web site about coal fields. I was even more surprised to see a page on Vintondale. Such an obscure, nowhere place and here it is on the internet! I was born and raised there....in 1947, so I came in when things were coming to an end. I lived in a town that I didn't even know had once had an undertaker or so many stores. I had no idea that so many people had filled that town at one time. My father told us many stories from how he walked home in wet and frozen clothes to how he got cheated in the number of cars he loaded. He started in the mines at age 15 in Nanty-Glo and they moved to Vintondale in 1927. He helped to establish the union in Vintondale and was the president of Local 620 at one time, something he was proud of, I think. When he was old he said he never dreamed in his youth that life would be so good for him in old age, meaning the pension he got and black lung benefits."


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