Export Historical Society discovers 4th, intact entrance to former mine
When aspiring Eagle Scout Troy Florian and a crew of fellow scouts cleared several entrances to the former Westmoreland Coal Co.’s No. 2 mine in Export, councilwoman Melanie Litz was quick to point out that they “would not be reopening the mine.”
That has changed a little, thanks to the discovery of a fourth intact entrance to the mine, located behind District Court 10-3-02 on Washington Avenue.
“Some of our historical committee members went up there, started digging around and said, ‘Yep, it’s there,’ ” Litz said.
Borough contractors Dan-Mar have excavated the fourth entrance, and in clearing earth from the front of the entrance, found they were able to get inside.
“That dirt was basically the only thing blocking the entrance. It appears initially to be in pretty good shape,” Litz said. “There are some water issues and there does seem to be a little bit of damage, but our goal is to go in about 20 feet or so, build a permanent (rear) wall and have an interactive historical display.”
Excavating crews also found scrap metal and wheels from old mining carts.
Naturally, borough officials don’t want people wandering into the long-abandoned mine, “so our contractor secured a door with a lock and no-trespassing signs,” Litz said. “While they were there, and before they did any sort of finishing work, we figured that if we were going to do any more, we should do it now.”
Troy Florian’s mother, Cindy, said her son and his group had gone back down to the entrance recently “to do a little more work, and it was already done!”
“When everything is finished, I think they’re planning to have some sort of opening ceremony to show it off to the community,” Florian’s mother said.
Litz is excited for borough residents to see yet another piece of local history.
“The goal is to turn that into something people can come off the (Westmoreland Heritage) Trail and see, and something which can preserve that history,” she said.
Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, email@example.com or via Twitter @MurrysvilleStar.