Storrs Colliery

The Storrs Colliery was opened by the Delaware Lackawanna and Western Railroad Company around 1880, with the sinking of a shaft. It was named after William R Storrs, the General Coal Agent of the company. A large wooden breaker was built on the site, with three shafts and many other supporting buildings. In 1919, a new breaker was built, nicknamed the million dollar breaker, with sides made of glass. It was known for being one of the most expensive in the valley, and the glass sides lowered the cost of interior lighting. In 1921, Glen Alden Coal Co took over operations at the site. Glen Alden stopped operations in 1931. It was reopened by the Moffat Coal Company in 1943. Moffat used a new method to bring coal to the surface – installing what was known as the longest conveyor in the world. One 2,640′ long underground, and another 2,200′ above ground to waiting railcars. It was then shipped to the Moffat Breaker in Taylor for processing. No longer in use, the Storrs breaker was demolished in the early 1950s. Mining at the site after this mainly consisted of surface strippings.

The Storrs was located off of the present day Rear Main Street, Dickson City. There are many colliery buildings still remaining, currently serving various industrial purposes. When driving North on I-81, many people see the buildings without knowing their significance. The large building that you can see from the highway formerly said “Battery World,” and more recently “Valvano Construction”. This was the mine car repair shops. It still has the original concrete floor with mine rail and turntables inside. Also remaining on the site are the powerhouse, a hoist house, car shops, washhouse, filled shafts, housing for a ventilation fan, breaker footers and other concrete slabs.

Bunnell photos showing the construction of the new breaker conveyor, going straight through the old wooden breaker, 1919.

Early 1900s photos showing the old and new breaker under construction, Bunnell photos.

Our photos of the site in the early 2000s.

Storrs No 2 Shaft cap failure around 2012.

“The Breakers of the Northern Anthracite Coalfield of Pennsylvania,” Richard G. Healey, Ph.D
The Times-Tribune (Scranton), Nov 18, 1948, Page 3, Frank Adams