The Wanamie Mine first went into production in 1875. In 1884, the No. 18 Breaker was built by the Lehigh and Wilkes-Barre Coal Co. In 1930, ownership of the colliery was transferred to Glen Alden Coal Co and in 1966 transferred to Blue Coal Corp who would continue to work the mine until closing in 1970. A unique feature of the colliery was the Narrow gauge rail network connecting the 18 colliery to the No 3 & 14 Slopes at the No 19 Mine site, a mile or so away. Small steam locomotives, “lokies,” would run the mine cars to the breaker at the colliery, and later when the breaker was torn down, to the mine run coal dump. Here mine run coal would be loaded into railroad hopper cars and taken to the Huber breaker for processing. These steam locomotives were not exactly unique, most collieries used them. However, what was unique was the fact that they ran up until the colliery closed in 1970!
The mine was briefly reopened around in 1973 by Silverbrook Anthracite, and closed in 1975 due to rising water of the mine pool due to the State funded mine pumps shutting down. The mine pool was raising at a rate of 4 inches per day. Making it the last deep mine to operate in the Northern Anthracite Field.
In 2003 the No 2 slope was excavated at the 18 Colliery site, and the coal near the surface was strip mined away, and the whole area then reclaimed.
3 original wooden Wanamie mine cars are known to still exist. One within the tipple at the Lackawanna Mine Tour, one in the Anthracite Heritage Museum, and one at the Canal Museum in Easton. The cars were also unique as Glen Alded added the “wanamie topping” to them. an extra foot was added to the top of car to allow it to hold more coal. However, miners were still paid the same rate per car. See our Wanamie mine car recovery!
Tony Organek Photos from 1966. Huge thank you to the Organek family for reprocessing these photos at a higher resolution for our new website.
Tony Organek Photos from 1967. Another huge thank you to the Organek’s.
Wanamie pictures from 1966, Rich Taylor photos.
More Wanamie Colliery photos from 1965-1966, John Scupski collection.
Last car of anthracite pulled from the No 18 slope, 1975, from Silverbrook Anthracite.