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COKEBURG, PA

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After industrialist James Ellsworth built the model coal company town of Ellsworth, PA, he then began to construct another patch town and coal & coke colliery a few miles away. Ellsworth Coal Co. called this Ellsworth No. 3, but we now know it as Cokeburg. In 1902 the first coal was shipped from Cokeburg. Lackawanna Steel Co. purchased the Cokeburg and Ellsworth mines in 1907. Then in 1922 Lackawanna Steel and Bethlehem Steel merged, and Bethlehem operated the mines under some of their mining subsidiaries like Bethlehem Mines Corp. and Industrial Collieries. (Bethlehem also owned Marianna No. 58 and, later, Somerset No. 60 coal mines in the vicinity.) Bethlehem designated Cokeburg their No. 53 mine, and they closed it in 1953. By then Cokeburg had become one of the few coal company towns in Western PA to become a borough. Like all the other patches Cokeburg was an immigrant magnet, and, as recently as the 1990's, had many Croation families.


Aerial photo of Cokeburg shows the "progressive" layout of the model patch town, as opposed to the grid layout of most other patches. (Image taken from a plane by Chris H.)


Great view of Cokeburg from National Road (I think). (Image courtesy of Jon Dawson)


As this picture illustrated, Cokeburg is the quintessential Western Pennsylvania patch town. (Nov. 2002 image by author)


These deteriorated coke ovens are all that remain at Cokeburg to remind us where the town got it's name. Note the ladder made out of round bar. (Nov. 2003 image by author)


James Ellsworth built more conventional coal company housing at Cokeburg than he did with the brick miners' cottages at nearby Ellworth, PA. (Nov. 2003 image by author)


This structure was the company store at Cokeburg, and now is the home of Royal Hydraulics. (Nov. 2003 image by author)


View of Cokeburg from a long, long time ago. The beehive coke ovens, seen in the center of the picture, appear to have been idled by then. (1939 image courtesy Penn State Digital Collections, T.R. Johns Collection)


Coal tipple complex at Cokeburg, with the company store in the background at left. (1939 image courtesy Penn State Digital Collections, T.R. Johns Collection)


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