Wilmore Heights was the location of Berwind-White Coal Company's Maryland No. 2 mine. (Maryland No. 1 was a sister mine a few miles away in St. Michael.) This mine featured the deepest mine shaft in the Pennsylvania bituminous coalfield. In 1955 Maryland No. 2 mine produced 55,521 tons of lump, egg, and nut coal from the "B" seam. 1959 tonnage was 393,609 tons, and daily capacity was advertised as 2,500 tons. Berwind-White sold the Maryland No. 2 mine to Bethlehem Mines Corp. in 1961. Bethlehem dug coal out of this mine into the 1970s.

Birds eye view showing the Wilmore Heights coal company town at the top, slate dump in the center, and remaining coal mine buildings in the lower left. Note the baseball diamond built on top of the slate dump.

The old carpenter shop with the patch town on the hill in the background. This coal mine, named the Maryland Shaft No. 2, was built by the Wilmore Coal Company, a sub-company of the mighty Berwind-White Coal Company that dominated the Windber Field, in 1945. Since the Wilmore patch was also constructed at that time then it is proabably the last coal patch town built in Pennsylvania. Maryland Mine No. 2 was constructed to mine coal for World War Two. (Mar. 2004 image by author)

In the foreground is the machine shop, and in the background is what was probably the bath house. The Wilmore Coal Company stopped mining coal at Wilmore in 1961, but leased the mine to Bethlehem Mines (Bethlehem Steel's mining arm) before the mine was permanently closed in the 1970s. (Mar. 2004 image by author)

The front of the carpenter shop. (Mar. 2004 image by author)

This head frame lowered the Wilmore miners 850' down, the deepest bituminous shaft in all of Pennsylvania. Too bad it was demolished in 1988. (Public Domain image by Jet Lowe, Historical American Engineering Record [HAER])

The upper sheave of the shaft hoist on the head frame.(Public Domain image by Jet Lowe, Historical American Engineering Record [HAER])

In 2018 I stopped back by Wilmore Heights for the first time in 15 years. The old brick mine buildings were still there, as was the company housing.

This was the last coal company town built in Western Pennsylvania (and probably all of Pennsylvania) in 1945. (Apr. 2018 image by author)

I don't know if these company houses were kit houses or stick-built. (Apr. 2018 image by author)

Another question I have is when these houses were built in 1945, did the coal company sell the houses to the mining families or rent them? I asked that because, by the mid-1940s, many coal companies were getting out of the landlord business. (Apr. 2018 image by author)

These company-built houses are over 70 years old now, and some are beginning to show their age. (Apr. 2018 image by author)

All of these houses on the back row of Wilmore Heights are covered with stucco. I don't know if the coal company did this, but my guess is that, when Wilmore Heights houses went on sale someone bought this whole row to use as rental properties, and the stucco was applied at that time. (Apr. 2018 image by author)

Not sure what this was. Lamp house? Company doctor's office? Pump station? (Apr. 2018 image by author)

(Apr. 2018 image by author)


Fitzsimons, Gray, editor. Blair County and Cambria County, Pennsylvania; An Inventory of Historic Engineering and Industrial Sites. 1990.



History of coal mining. History of Pennsylvania. History of Somerset County Pennsylvania. History of Cambria County Pennsylvania. History of Westmoreland County Pennsylvania. History of Blair County Pennsylvania. History of Bedford County Pennsylvania. History of Pittsburgh. History of Johnstown. Kittanning Coal Seam. Historic Pictures. Historic Photographs. Historic books. Historic Maps. Pittsburgh history publications. History. Johnstown Polish immigrants. Johnstown Slovak immigrants. Johnstown Italian immigrants. Pittsburgh immigrants. Pittsburgh polka music. Pennsylvania polka music. Pittsburgh culture. Pittsburgh food. Pennsylvania pieroige. Historic architecture. Historic buildings. Historic towns. Organized labor. Unions. United Mine workers. Archives. Conemaugh River. Youghioghenyt River. River tourism. Pittsburgh tourism. Laurel Highlands.