Trauger Pennsylvania Coke Ovens
Jan. 2002 image by author

Coke oven ruins at Trauger, also known as Hecla No. 2, in the heart of the Mt. Pleasant to Latrobe portion of the Connellsville Coke Field. Although Trauger was originally a Thaw and Dorsey Coal and Coke Co. operation, the H.C. Frick Coke Co. acquired it in 1906.

Jan. 2002 image by author

The slate dump and the end of a mine building, perhaps the stable, at Hecla No. 2. H.C. Frick Coke Co. closed the mines and coke works in 1925.

Nov. 2003 image by author

One of the few remaining company houses at Trauger. Most of the patch is gone.

Nov. 2003 image by author

Travelers of PA Route 981 will find St. Mary's Byzantine Catholic Church a familiar site.

March 1959 image by John Enman from the video "Silver Cinders"

Beehive coke plant at Trauger in ruins.

Circa 1990 HAER image

Trauger coke ovens.

July 2002 image by author

More coke oven ruins.

November 2015 image courtesy of coalandcoke.blogspot.com

After 48 or 72 hours, beehive coke needs to be sprayed with water to cool the hot coke down. This lake at Trauger was constructed by the coke company to provide water for this purpose. It still exists as a fishing lake.

Google Stret View image

In addition to the Byzantine Catholic church at Trauger, there was also this Roman Catholic church there, too. Forty Martyrs Catholic Church existed at Trauger from 1918 until 2008, primarily as a church for locals of Hungarinan ancestry, whose grandparents and great-grandparents came to the Connellsville Coalfield from Hungary to work the mines and coke ovens. As of 2023 the church was now owned by Mennonites.

From a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review article dated Feb. 13, 2005: Do you want to Bucsu? It's a Hungarian festival, something the Forty Martyrs Roman Catholic Church, in Trauger, has held annually almost since the founding of the church in 1918. Frank Susko, general chairman for the Bucsu at Forty Martyrs, said the celebration is usually held the first Sunday in August as a tribute to the founding members' Hungarian roots ... "We try to have something for everyone," he said. "There is entertainment, including a Polka band, a kids area, games of chance, a Chinese auction, chicken and halupki dinners, outside burger and hot dogs stands, apple dumplings, a cake raffle and a Hungarian booth." The Hungarian booth, run by Marta and Andy Urban, of Norvelt, includes authentic goulash, needlework items and various pieces of art from Hungary. The Urbans use a recipe from the family cookbook for the goulash. "This is one of the few traditional church festivals in the area," Marta Urban said. "It's been very successful. My sister-in-law has a contact in Hungary so we have some food items such as paprika and noodles plus some hand-embroidered items and novelty mugs with Hungarian sayings and other folk art types of things."

What a shame that the diocese chose to suppress this parish.

Andy writes, "My father grew up in Trauger, Pa. , and worked in the mines as a boy. I have pay slips from the Old Basin By-Product Coal Co.

Pay statement shows 10 cars $16.80


Powder .28

Exploders .14

Lamps .21

Picks .08

Social Security Tax .17

Total .88

Net Amount Due 15.92

I remember going to the company store, and a local hang out the Chat-Away."