May 2003 image by author

Some of the remaining houses at Calumet, Pa. built by the coal and coke company. The Calumet Coke Company constructed the Calumet mine, coke ovens, and patch in 1888. Later, H.C. Frick Coke Company, which was by far the dominant company in this coal field, purchased Calumet. Frick closed the mine and coke works down in the 1930s.

May 2003 image by author

A boss's house at Calumet. The Calumet coke ovens were some of the last beehives burining in Pennsylvania. The DEP shut them down in 1972.

May 2003 image by author

This little building in Calumet could have been the office of a company doctor, or even a post office. The Calumet entry in "Westmoreland County - An Inventory of Historic Engineering and Industrial Sites" offers no explanation, and neither did the now-defunct Virtual Museum of Coal Mining in Western Pa." website.

On the same day that I took these pictures I tried to get a photo of the remaining slate dump at Calumet. As I was walking up to it I heard the sound of a chain moving, and a dog that must have been four feet tall came out of his dog house and ferociously barked and lunged at me. Only the chain attached to his collar restrained him. So I never did get a picture of the Calumet slate dump, which has since been reclaimed.

As late as 1972, Eugene Gowton and John Sanner were still operating the beehive coke ovens at Calumet. I assume that the Calumet coal reserves were long ago exhausted, and that they were trucking in coal from other nearby deep or surface mines. They were making 72-hour coke. These guys were like the dinosaurs at 1 minute until midnight on the extinction clock. The following photos were taken in 1972, and are courtesy of the Latrobe Area Historical Society Coal Mining Archives Collection.