Circa 1912 American Iron and Steel Institute image via Google Books

Pleasant conditions in a Whitney company home yard over a century ago.

Mar. 2003 image by author

Ruins of the tipple and slate dump at Whitney, PA.

Mar. 2003 image by author

Detail of the Whitney tipple ruins. This coal mine, coke yard, and patch town were built by the Hostetter Coke Co. in the 1880s.

Mar. 2003 image by author

View of the slate dump and tipple ruins with the Whitney patch in the background. Frick Coke assumed control of Whitney during the early 20th Century. They closed the Whitney operation in 1922. Coal mining at Whitney continued sporadically until the 1980s.

Mar. 2003 image by author

Most of the patch housing at Whitney has been drastically modernized and altered.

Mar. 2003 image by author

But here is one company-built house at Whitney that retains some of its original character.

Many years later I was passing through Whitney again and realized I never photographed the former company store.

Jan. 2019 image by author

Sometime in the 20th Century the Whitney company store had its second story removed. However, it continued to operate as a store (privately-owned rather than coal company-owned) until 1974.

Jan. 2019 image by author

Side view of the former company store showing a dormer window that has been added.

Jan. 2019 image by author

I'm not sure what purpose the building in the foreground originally served, but the two story brick building in the background once contained a dance hall, barber shop, pool room, and confectionary.

1974 Latrobe Bulletin image

The Whitney store in its last days.

An early 1900s article in The Coal Trade Bulletin described Whitney and nearby Hostetter. "Considerable attention has been directed recently to Hostetter and Whitney, the two towns which have grown up around the plants of the Hostetter-Connellsville Coke Co., near Latrobe, Pa. While in no sense social experiments or 'model' towns, the care that has surrounded their growth and development has resulted in making them ideal industrial communities. The general features of the two towns are practically the same as others of the kind. The company houses, numbering about 120 in each, are of the ususal type, except, possibly, that their construction is somewhat better than the average. The population is the usual mixed order and the usual social and convivial habits of such commmunities are not lacking. There is, however, a vast moral and physical difference between those towns and other industrial communities. Both were laid out on approved scientific lines, with wide streets and plenty of ground room for the dwellings, which are double. Shade trees adorn the streets, good schools and churches have been provided, the town has its own mountain water supply, and with low rents, cheap fuel, reasonable prices for the commodities and steady work, there is every reason for the inhabitants to be satisfied. The advantages thus provided have inculcated a sprit of civic pride among the dwellers, and industry and progress are watchwords with them."


Fitzsimons, Gray, editor. Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania - An Inventory of Historic Engineering and Industrial Sites. National Park Service, 1994.

Edited by Raymond A. Washlaski, Virtual Museum of Coal Mining in Western Pennsylvania.

The Coal Trade Bulletin. Issue number and date lost.