See also: Avondale Mine Disaster
The breaker at Avondale was built in mid-1867 on the property of the Steuben Coal Company south of Plymouth, on the east side of Rt. 11 just before the interchange with the South Cross Valley Expressway. The design and the machinery of the breaker was made at the Dickson Manufacturing Works, Sevantoe. During this period it was customary to build the preparation plant directly connected to the head-frame of the mine shaft to cut down on the costs of transportation of raw coal from mine to the top of the breaker. This breaker and shaft brattice work consisted of 450,000 feet of lumber. The shaft had two, seven foot wide compartments; one for hoisting coal and one for ventilation. Ventilation was provided by a furnace and flue located near the bottom of the shaft, and fresh air was provided to the mine by the updraft of the fire.
Remains of the Avondale Colliery can be seen on the east side of Rt. 11 while driving north in Plymouth Township just after the South Cross Valley. Several small buildings remain in a dilapidated condition and the mine shaft foundation is believed to be there also. A fan house built at a later date stands south of the ruins.
Colliery construction and post construction photos from ~1905 Bunnell Photos.
Our photos throughout the years showing the colliery site before and after it’s upkeep by the Plymouth Historical Society.
Contributors: John Pagoda
- “The Great Disaster at Avondale Colliery” MSHA Library Unknown Date
- “When the Breaker Whistle Blows” Ellis Roberts 1984
- “Report on Mining Methods and Appliances of the Anthracite Region” H.M. Chance 1883