Sunday, January 29, 2012

Hoover Coke Works - Hoover, PA

The Hoover Coke Works are located near McClellandtown, PA. At its peak, the Hoover Coke works had 196 working ovens. The adjacent patch town of Hoover is quite small – so small, in fact, that it never even had a company store. The coke works were initially owned by the James H. Hoover Company of McClellandtown but were later operated by the Pennsylvania Coal Company. The Hoover Coke Works shut down just short of the 1960s.  
What’s left now are the bank ovens – the rest of the ovens have been demolished. The leftover coke ovens are strangely elevated above ground – this is because the area where the workers would normally stand was excavated to make room for vehicles as they reclaimed the slate dump. Towards the end of the ovens, near the remains of the waste pile, is a block room where supplies were likely stored.
Now, as the ovens are slowly decaying into the ground and the bricks that made up the outer facing disintergrate, the ovens are an interesting way to see the construction of a beehive oven. While a beehive oven is still intact, its hard to see why they are referred to as beehive ovens - after all, the just look like long blocks. But as the bricks crumble, you can see the beehive shape of the actual ovens.

Entering Hoover

The Hoover patch

One oven intact, another decaying

The stone wall on one side of the ovens

View through the top of the oven
The elevated ovens

As the brick facing decays and falls, you can see the inner beehive

Another view of the construction of the beehive inside

This one has fallen apart so much there is daylight between facing and oven

An almost intact oven

The brick insides of the oven spilling out

Decaying brick

Another oven in a state of decay

The supply room

What's left of the waste pile
The coke works


  1. My inlaws lived in that bright blue house in Hoover.

  2. Fantastic to see an important piece of our past. I was a little girl when these ovens were used. I lived near Carmichaels, Pa.