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Marianna and Vicinity

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Marianna, yellow-brick row houses.

This model mining town, built by the Pittsburgh-Buffalo Coal Company between 1906 and 1912, was noted for its progressive attitude toward its workers' safety and living standards. The company's president, John H. Jones, from Monongahela, specified that the 250 houses be constructed from the yellow brick made in his brickworks at Freeport in Armstrong County, and that the houses have indoor plumbing—among the first miners' housing to do so. Ranging from two to three stories in height and generally two bays wide, the houses have decorative brickwork in the gable ends and originally had turned posts and balustrades supporting their porches. The houses line long straight and curved streets on the now wooded hillside. Marianna had a company store, school, movie theater, and church. At its peak in 1910, its population of 2,000 included White Russians, Italians, Scots, English, and Slavic miners. The 2000 census listed the population at 626 residents. The shuttered mine buildings, located along the wide floodplain of Ten Mile Creek, consist of a tipple and washer, in use until 1988, and brick beehive coke ovens that had closed earlier. Ironically, despite Jones's emphasis on safety, Marianna was the site of a disastrous explosion in 1908 that killed 154 men.

Writing Credits

Lu Donnelly et al.

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