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HARMARVILLE, PENNSYLVANIA

Harmar Coal Company's Harmar Mine opened in 1915. It was one of the last coal mines in the Freeport Coalfield when Consol closed it in 1980, but many people remember it as a captive mine of Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corp. Older people will remember seeing the big Harmar mine preparation plant and conveyors from Route 28.

A Nov. 1, 1951 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article titled "Company Town Goes On Block" said, "Harmarville, for more than 30 years a 'company' town, is being sold, a house at a time, to employees of the Consumers Mining Company. The settlement on the Allegheny River across from Oakmont, a few miles from the Pittsburgh City limits, is almost entirely owned by the coal firm, a subsidiary of Wheeling Steel Corporation. Tenants in 145 dwellings in Harmarville were told a week ago they would have an opportunity to buy their homes - or have a new landlord. All of the homes are occupied by Consumers Mining employees ... Most of the properties are four rooms plus bath and basement, with front porch and yard. They are of brick construction, about 30 years old. They are in groups of five to a block - 'quin-plexes.' There are nine doubles, of stone construction, and 17 six-room bungalows. Average price for the properties, according to the agent, is about $4,000 ... 'Company' towns, once so familiar in the Pittsburgh area, are becoming fewer rapidly. A similar development, Logan's Ferry, across the river, was sold by West Penn Power Company recently."


These coal company houses look like they are in an obscure hollow in remote Appalachia, but Harmarville is only 10 miles from downtown Pittsburgh. (2017 image by author)


A different kind of coal company housing - stone row houses. (2017 image by author)


These brick row houses are the most common kind of coal company housing at Harmarville. (2017 image by author)


The now-demolished Harmarville tipple. (1975 image by Don Henderson)


These foundations remain from the tipple. (2017 image by author)


Old coal processing equipment sitting where the tipple/prep plant used to be located. This equipment may have been used lately to reprocess the coal refuse dump at Harmarville. (2017 image by author)


The Harmar mine used this little harbor along the Allegheny River to moor their barges while loading coal. (2017 image by author)

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