Lehman 179 Slope

Originally part of Hyde Park Colliery, Lehman 179 Slope property was in later years purchased by Moffat Coal Company. Moffat leased or sold properties to smaller independent operators. But Moffat did retain ownership of the profitable end of anthracite production. The breaker was a facility used to break anthracite down into various sizes, and then wash the finished product. This breaker was the formerly named Taylor breaker, but later was called Moffat breaker.

Frank Shuster secured a lease on the land formerly mined by the Hyde Park colliery. No. 179 served the Dunmore #1 vein. Mr. Shuster had a long history as a union leader.

Beginning in 1942 Shuster began construction of this site. But before driving the actual slope, the area of the slope was strip or surface mined. All surface buildings were constructed including the tipple. The tipple was a structure usually located at the opening of the mine. Rail cars or in the case of Lehman trucks would be stationed underneath it. The loaded mine cars would dump into a pocket, and then the trucks would transport the anthracite to the preparation plant or breaker. As a requirement of the lease with Moffat, all anthracite mined at leased properties were required to be prepared at the Moffat breaker.

In 1953 There was a major legal battle between Mr. Shuster and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.  They wanted to take the land as part of the construction of the northeast extension of the turnpike. The decision was not to close the mine but relocate, a cap house (for the storage of blasting caps used for detonating the dynamite with which the coal was blasted), a steel garage and warehouse, a powderhouse, an oilhouse, a coal pocket and storehouse beneath the structure (for the storage of coal taken from the mines), and a hoisting engine house. The latter was vital to the mining operations in that it housed the hoisting equipment by means of which the coal was haulted in cars up the slope from the underground mine. The coal which Schusters mined was not directly under the surface of the land over which the Turnpike established its right of way but underneath land which immediately adjoined the land taken and, in order to reach and mine this coal, Schusters had driven a slope approximately 1800 feet long. As a result of the Turnpike construction certain buildings were torn down, other buildings were moved to new locations outside the Turnpike right of way, a new road permitting ingress and egress to and from the mining operations was constructed and the entry to the slope had to be altered and its grade changed from 20°-25° to approximately 30°. Mr. Shuster was awarded $67,000.00 to relocate and rebuild the surface structures of the mine.   

In April of 1966, Lehman was sold/leased or co owned by the person with whom its name gained its origin, Frank Lehman of Scranton. From production figures listed in the Dept. of Mines Annual Report, production figures for Moffat and Lehman are nearly identical.

The increasing water pools had flooded its deeper workings with the cessation of pumping in 1960. Strip mining continued for a few years, until the Moffat breaker was sold to Raymond collieries. Raymond colliery became the second largest anthracite company to go bankrupt after Blue coal. The legal battles of Raymond and Blue coal continued for years. In 2006 most above ground facilities at 179 were demolished to make way for a Pennsylvania turnpike northeast extension roadway project. Also as part of that project the slope was sealed.  The remains of the Taylor/Moffat breaker were also demolished as part of a DEP sponsored project the same year. The breaker that processed the coal from Lehman, followed its life span nearly identical. Right down to the year all traces were removed.

Our photos from the 1990s.

Our photos from the 2000s before and after reclamation.