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Murrysville

Export coal mine entrance uncovered as part of Eagle Scout project

Patrick Varine
| Friday, July 27, 2018, 1:30 p.m.

Troy Florian and his fellow Boy Scouts made short work of the brush behind District Court 10-3-02 in Export, uncovering part of the borough’s history in the process, as part of Florian’s Eagle project.

Florian, 16, of Murrysville, is a member of Troop 205, and is clearing the former entrance to the Westmoreland Coal Company’s No. 2 mine.

The mine has been filled in for decades, so the full entrance will not be exposed.

“We can dig down to where the stones were set in front of the entrance,” Florian said.

The Export mine was the first major mine on the Turtle Creek Branch of the Pennsylvania Railroad. The borough’s first mines opened in October 1892 to ship coal to Philadelphia and New York.

When it came time to choose his Eagle project, Florian said doing something in Export was always his goal.

“It’s a place I love and wanted to work on,” he said. “So I got in touch with (borough Councilwoman) Melanie Litz, who had a list of projects, and this one really appealed to me. It’s a historical thing and I’m a big history buff.”

In addition to clearing knotweed and other plants from the former entrance, Florian’s project also includes creating a small pathway leading from an earlier Eagle project — a cleared area in front of the old fan house for the mine — back to the No. 2 entrance.

“We’re planning to make sort a half-path leading to the mine entrance, with an informational sign similar to the one over by the fan house,” Florian said.

The Export Historical Society has secured a grant to cover the cost of the informational sign.

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, pvarine@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MurrysvilleStar.

Above, a photo of the majority of coal operations at the No. 2 mine in Export. It was taken around 1918 by John Sartoris, who operated a photography business in the borough.
John Sartoris photo
Above, a photo of the majority of coal operations at the No. 2 mine in Export. It was taken around 1918 by John Sartoris, who operated a photography business in the borough.
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