You are here

Ellsworth and Cokeburg

-A A +A

James William Ellsworth, a shipping entrepreneur from Hudson, Ohio, bought 16,000 acres of coal land in southeast Washington County in 1898, and studied the organization of mining towns in Wales. Ellsworth built his model mining community of locally fired red brick, rather than the more commonly used wood. The town's highlight is the administration building, distinguished by its three stories, cupola, and bridged chimneys. Ellsworth spent approximately $100 million to open four mines, two at Ellsworth and two at Cokeburg three miles to the southwest. He provided rail service from the city of Monongahela along Pigeon Creek. During his ownership, 1.5 million tons of coal were mined at the two sites. Miners were assigned to small, three-bay, one-and-one-half-story brick houses. Despite the amenities Ellsworth offered his miners, they went on strike in 1905. In disgust, he sold his Washington County holdings to the Lackawanna Steel Corporation, and offered funding to his hometown of Hudson to create a model community. Nevertheless, the four mines continued operation until 1982. The 238-acre Cokeburg coal patch consists of four-bay, frame duplex houses rhythmically marching up and down sloping hills. Today, their location close to Bentleyville on PA 917 has allowed them to survive, even without the mining operations. An excellent view of Cokeburg may be seen from TWP 441 north of Scenery Hill.

Writing Credits

Lu Donnelly et al.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.