Sunday, January 23, 2011

A winter walk down the Rices Landing, PA rails to trails on the former Monongahela railroad line. Now with Crucible and original Dilworth mine and Gateway mine ruins visit.

Yesterday was a snowy, cold day and I really didn't feel like doing a whole lot, so I  bundled up and headed to Stan-Lee's in Crucible for a bowl of Chili.  The night before I discovered the beauty of BING maps and their far superior quality as opposed to the Google Earth maps I've been using for years.  As I studied the maps in between Michelob beers (in cans), I noticed a lot of things I have been missing as the Bing maps are actually aerial shots of all four angles of what you are looking at.  I noticed I had overlooked a few odd buildings down at the old Crucible mine site (the remainder where demo'd back in 2006 or so, as talked about in this rather rambling catch all blog entry.  It had just snowed a day and a half earlier so I knew it would make for some pretty shots.  I trekked on past the actual now flat "reclaimed" mine site, I walked behind the bulldozed giant piles of mine waste and there they were, the only two buildings remaining from the Crucible mine.  Now I had read a few weeks back that they left two buildings because of their sound condition and historical impact, but I was sort of let down w/ what was found.
Nothing to blow my skirt up
Tipple ruins

Remains of a mine building
The waste pile across the river has an almost exotic quality to it in winter.
Being cold out, but also incredibly clear, I decided to head to Rices Landing and walk on down the Rails to Trails that is built on the former Monongahela railroad.  Sometimes people ask me where we find all the points of interest that are the blog topics, and in this instance, I decide to blog about whats really easy to get to, easy to see, and we basically walk past all the time.

The steps are all that remain of the former Monongahela hotel in Rices Landing.

Under this overlook point, under all the mine waste lies a bank of old coke ovens.

I must have been the third or so person on the trail since the snow, and going was slow.  I walked on down towards the Greene Cove boat club, the trails end and stopped at the remains of the old, orginal Dilworth mine site.  I was told by an old timer at the barber shop that his father was one of the last men who worked here and that it was taken out of service in the  1920's.  In the summer, as we walk and bike thru here, its basically invisible in the overgrowth, so this was a great day to explore....Or was it the Emerald Mine?
A blog viewer corrected me as to this being the Gateway mine site.  The Dilworth (original site) was closer to the Rices Landing trail head.

That is, I believe where the coal came out and into the tipple.

Where coal from above shot used to go.  This tipple was demo'd a year and a half ago.

And this is what it used to look like.  As they were building the trail years ago, there were still steps attached and I climbed up into the tipple, Very cool and it didn't feel to dangerous. I of course had no camera w/ me then.

In case you wondered, this is what the above Gateway mine looked like

For a nice interactive birds eye map of the area, when the barge load out was still intact CLICK HERE.  Use the controls on top to zoom and rotate map.

Tipple destruction.

Old cast iron rail road marker along the trail
Another shot of the fenced in area where the shaft was located.

The original Dilworth mines deep shaft entrance.

Steps that led to the train station in Rices landing, they pass under the former tracks.
Old retaining wall.

For some more cool Rices Landing pictures, check out Chip's (the Rices Landing Kid) blog on some neat forgotten stuff!


  1. You were looking at the old Gateway tipple site, not Dilworth. Before it was a Gateway mine facility, Hillman Coal used it as a loadout and there may have been some coal preparation performed there.
    The loadout was used for a short time in the 1980's after Gateway for the old Emerald Mine (Chartiers).
    The site was not a Dilworth property.

  2. Thats what I thought as well, the old timer was adamant about it being Dilworth, perhaps because of its proximity to the original Dilworth. Thaks for the correction. Happen to know of any old photos of this?