The South Hills Coal Company
operated several mines along McNeilly Road and Library Road during
the early 20th century. This mining operation was located on McNeilly
Road, also known as Elwyn Street, near the railroad tunnel. Today,
this is the location of Facchiano Construction Company.
on images for larger photos
The South Hills Coal Company located
on McNeilly Road near the railroad tunnel.
Library Road approaching McNeilly Road at the
bridge (left) and the Pittsburgh Railways trestle and Wabash Tunnel
that led to the South Hills Coal Company located on the other side
of the tunnel along McNeilly Road.
Beware of Abandoned
A mine entrance on Elwyn Street in 1931 (left)
and an abandoned entrance off Library Road in 1937.
Coal mining was once a major enterprise
in the South Hills. Although these mining ventures are now just a part of our
distant past, their legacy remains. Two of the more threatening after-effects
are the potential for mine subsidence and the dangers of abandoned mine
The best estimates are that 95% of the
homes in our area have been undermined. Although subsidence is not a major
problem in the Brookline area, it does happen on occasion, and the results
can be disastrous. Old mine shafts are another hazard. A curiosity for the
adventurous few, many times a trip into an abandoned tunnel has had dire
consequences. Most, if not all, of these entrances have been sealed and are
inaccessible. However, every once in a while, one of the shafts return to the
light of day, as happened in October 2007. During the reconfiguration of Library
Road near the intersection with McNeilly Road, one of the Elwyn mine shafts was
unearthed during excavation of the hillside.
<Photos of the Uncovering/Sealing of the
Elwyn Mine Shaft in 2007>