Avondale History & Investigation;

The 1869 disaster at Avondale involved both fire and depleted oxygen, and was the worst in the history of anthracite mining.

Two years before the catastrophe, the Steuben Coal Company built a breaker directly above the single shaft at the Avondale Colliery near Plymouth, PA. Like other mining companies at that time, it kept small fires burning at the bottom of shafts to create drafts that then promoted better air circulation for the working miners. Sparks from this ventilating furnace set fire to the timbers in the shaft, and the flames then engulfed the breaker at the surface — the only exit for those underground. The breaker collapsed into the shaft and the fire devoured the oxygen. Over 100 men and boys asphyxiated 300 feet below ground.


                                   Our team at the mine entrance. It was filled in with Bricks and dirt.