Bird's eye view of Nemacolin, showing the gob pile in the upper left, the patch town in the center, the mine ruins and reclaimed tipple site on the right, and the Monongahela River with tugboat and barges on the far right. (Photo courtesy of Microsoft Virtual Earth)

A remarkable photo of the Nemacolin patch taken in 1950, courtesy of Bob Snopik.

The Nemacolin patch was built by the Youngstown Sheet and Tube Co. as their captive mine in 1917 and operated as Buckeye Coal Co. This was a nice company town, with a theatre, tennis courts, amusement hall, and swimming pool.

A company-built home in Nemacolin, PA. Nemacolin was an Indian chief.

The mine and coal preparation facility were located down on the Mon River. The tipple is gone but this hoist house and "safety board" are still there. The refuse pile is still permitted, however, by the bankrupt LTV Steel.

This shop building at Nemacolin is one of the few remnants of the mine complex there. Nemacolin was said to be the largest coal mine in the U.S. in 1919, and it was Greene County's second most productive mine in the 1940s. After nearly 70 years of production the mine was idled in 1986 and probably sealed in 1988.

Part of the coal processing facility (blending bins?) at Nemacolin in 1971 (Courtesy Coal and Coke Heritage Center, Penn State Fayette)

The large slate dump at Nemacolin (courtesy of

Nemacolin was only one of several large coal mines that surround Carmichaels Borough. Others included Gateway, Crucible, Mather, Emerald, Dillworth, Cumberland, and especially Robena. These were all major, large scale mines in the Pittsburgh seam, and they are all closed now. But you can still experience the coal heritage of the region at the annual Bituminous Coal Festival every August in Carmichaels. I went to it once: They had a parade, someone was crowned Bituminous Coal Queen, and the fire hall was filled with mining memorabilia, MSHA safety exhibits, and vendors like Joy machinery.