Monday, May 7, 2012

Isabella, PA - Mine Tipple

The Isabella Coal Mine started approximately in the year in 1907 as part of the Isabella Connellsville Coal & Coke Company, and then was taken over by the Hecla Coal & Coke Company in 1916, switching hands again to the Hillman Coke Company, and again to Weirton Steel/Coal Company, and then lastly to the National Steel Company.

Isabella Coke Works

At one time, the coal mine also had a coke works located there, but there are pretty much no remnants of these left. Isabella functioned into the mid 1980s when it was shut down. The buildings related to the mine were demolished and all that remains is one brick building and the tipple, extending out over the Monongahela River.

Isabella, PA now

And Then

The business end of the load out

Popular spot for river jumpers

Railroad ties and track used to cover this

Coal loading chute

River 40 feet below

The conveyer where the coal traveled from the tipple to the load out

Wheels for the conveyer

Barge tie up
Wooden underbelly

The machine shop is the only other building left standing

Rather unremarkable interior of machine shop

From last winter.  A CSX local freight train passes under the Isabella load out.

Looking North to the Crucible mine site.  Waste piles on right.

Rope swing on right


  1. Wow looks incredible, love the blog as I've always been interested in abandoned sites and buildings. It's too bad I live about 10 miles north of Scranton or I'd definitely check these out, but your pictures and descriptions are certainly the next best thing, thanks and keep exploring.

  2. Great pics as usual!

  3. Thank you for the wonderful pics. It is awesome that though many things from the past are gone/going we will have pictures to remember them by.

  4. I grew up in Isabella, and my Grandfather worked in that mine. We used to have parties in the tipple after the mine shut down. I walked up the entire length of the conveyor and stood in that gaping hole where it was cut off from the other conveyor when they demolished the rest of the buildings. That was in the 80s, though. Not sure I'd trust the floor to go all the way up there these days.

    1. No, I wouldn't walk that direction at all. Looks like part of the support has been pulled and not much metal seem to be holding conveyer up. I'm sort of surprised it is still standing. Also, in that gaping hole area, it seems overly populated by bee's, you could see them clearly swarming from the ground level.

  5. that's a Norfolk Southern train the C 26 specifically

  6. To bad some people are cutting steel out of it for scrap they should get in trouble for that shit

  7. I worked at the mine in the 70's. This was only one of two mines that drove entries under the monongahela river. These entries were mined to give access to the remaining reserves in the old Crucible mine. You could go down the Isabella slope in Fayette county and come up the slope in Crucible mine in Greene County. I believe the only other mine to mine under the river was upstream at Ronco which gave access to the eventual Robena mine in Greene county. When I worked there a mine motor used to pull coal cars had a name plate on the side marked Jeffery locomotive dated 1898 and it was still being used. A maintenance shop at the slope bottom was big enough to have overhead cranes to work on mine machinery. The only mine I ever worked in that had commodes (Toilets)but they dumped into a ditch that flowed into the mines drainage system that pumped into the monongahela river.

    1. Great stories!
      That'd be great to see some old pictures of that operation underground...And, I had no idea you could go Fayette to Greene underground. I believe they finally filled that slope when Greene County found it in its best interests to raze the remaining Crucible Mine buildings in the early 2000's

  8. My dad worked there in the 70's until it closed in the 80's. He passed away on Monday and still talked about his career as a mine foreman there. I worked there for a little over a year and will never forget that time. Decided to check out the site in honor of him. God bless you dad and may you rest in peace.