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 Post subject: Grace Mine, Morgantown, PA
PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2009 5:25 pm 
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Recently, Mike Piersa uploaded some images of Grace Mine, which can be seen here: http://www.ironminers.com/mineforum/vie ... hp?t=20440. To help him and everyone identify each building, I attached the following airview image of the surface plant layout.

A little background: Grace Mine was a former Bethlehem Steel Mine, situated near Morgantown, Berks County, PA. At Grace mine, magnetite ore with an iron content of approximately 40 percent was processed through the surface plant. It is first beneficiated to a concentrate of about 65 per cent iron content then baked into rock-hard marble-sized pellets for shipment to the blast furnaces at Bethlehem, Pa.

Bethlehem Steel started construction in 1951, in which they undertook the first step of the mine with the sinking of "A" shaft, the first of two. " A" shaft, which is 2,208 feet deep, was used for hoisting ore and transporting materials. Ultimately, "A" shaft was sunk to depth of "B" shaft, which is 3,079 feet. "B" shaft was used for men and materials. When the mine closed in 1977, both shafts were sealed and the headframes were torn down. Today, the hoist and compressor building still remains, but unfortunately, vacant.

Grace Mine was the last iron ore mine to close in PA.

After the mine and surface plant closed, developers were toying around with different ideas for the site, but eventually it became an industrial park. Visitors today will notice that only the substantial buildings remained, seen in Mike's images, while the headframes, pelletizing plant, crushing and screening plant, mill tailings thickener tanks and raw materials conveyor system, were all torn down.

Mike's photos:

Photo# 1) Garage
2) Not sure
3) Maintenance shop
4) part of the crushing screening plant
5) Maintenance shop --note, narrow gauge (36") rail embedded in the ground
6) Mill building
7-11) I guess interior of Mill building
12-15) I believe remains of the rail car loading bins
16) change house for miners
17) typical beth steel lighting

Ray

Image


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2009 11:21 pm 
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Location: Winnemucca, NV
Wow, thanks for sharing this information. It is interesting to get an aerial view labeled like that. That is a late start for an iron mine or did Bethlehem Steel refurbish the mine in 1951? Its nice to know some of the buildings remain even though the headframe was razed. Do you know how successful the mine was or its overall tonnage?

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"If you thought old, abandoned mines were only in the west, then you haven't been to IronMiners.com!"


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 7:07 pm 
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Grace Mine started out as a new mine site and sister mine to the nearby BSC Cornwall Mine. Bethlehem Steel had determined in 1948 that magnetic iron ore existed in the Berks County Hills, it was not until August of 1951 that they took the first step to develop the mine.

According to a pamphlet describing Grace Mine, it employed approximately 1,000 persons and produced around 12,000 tons of ore and rock each day that was converted into about 5,8000 tons of pellets for shipment.

Ray


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 7:28 pm 
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Here is a satellite image of how the site looks today. Compare it with the old photo:

Image

Ray


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:51 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 11:33 pm
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Location: Above the Sterling Hill Mine
Thanks a lot for posting this up. I had read and seen a few books on the Grace Mine, but I had heard somewhere that the mine was completely remediated. As a result, I never too the time to look for it. These are some great shots that show before and after. You can see where the headframe was for the mine, its great to know that most of the buildings are still standing, some occupied. This was a very important mine for the area, its good to see some of it left.

This would be a great mine to see if anyone has any historical pictures inside. Did Bethlehem Steel keep good records of this stuff? Where are all of these records?

Miner Greg


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 Post subject: Re: Grace Mine, Morgantown, PA
PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 11:29 am 
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Hi,
Great pictures! I worked at Grace Mine. Here are a few additions to Mike’s picture descriptions:
1. Mill Building office (#10 in the overhead shot)
2. That building was right next to the Carpenter Shop (sits above the number 10 in the overhead shot, across from building #9). It was full of 55 gallon drums, I believe were mostly paint and other chemicals.
5. Note - that narrow rail led directly to B shaft, which was right outside the machine shop.
12-15 These are the base of the Pellet Plant, which was torn down. I think they were beneath the furnaces which fed the giant smokestack seen in the overhead shot (#5 in the overhead shot)
16. Main Office building (#2 in the overhead shot). This is the front of the building, the changehouse was in the back (#2A in the overhead shot)
My Dad was the Head Mining Engineer at Grace Mines, so I have many more pics that I hope to scan and put online.

I created a Grace Mine Facebook page - more pics and info there
http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Bethle ... 8355818588

-Bob


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 Post subject: Re: Grace Mine, Morgantown, PA
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 6:40 am 
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Location: Berkeley Heights
Your link does not seem to work.

Thanks for sharing. I have been to the mine a few times in the past three years. Lots of interesting minerals in the tailings. Sad that the whole place is now off limits due to construction of a huge planned community. It must have been something to see back in the day.


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 Post subject: Re: Grace Mine, Morgantown, PA
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 12:12 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 11:33 pm
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Location: Above the Sterling Hill Mine
Very interesting stuff. I also read from Bob's Grace Mine page that a former miner's son found his father, who unfortunately passed away, had an interesting collection of former mine photos. I would be really interested in seeing those. Thanks a lot for sharing, this was a very important operation and I'm your here to share information on this.

Miner Greg


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 Post subject: Re: Grace Mine, Morgantown, PA
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 10:28 am 
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I was one of the "young" guys who worked at Grace Mine. I was 21 when it closed in 1977, and I'm 56 now. My dad also passed away and we actually poured his ashes into the shaft at B-Collar.

We have photo albums with pictures from the 1950s until 1977, as well as some pictures we took recently, and have plans to scan some and post them on Facebook. We still have a reunion once a year.

We are doing everything we can to keep the memories of Grace Mine alive!


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 Post subject: Re: Grace Mine, Morgantown, PA
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:21 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2013 9:38 pm
Posts: 2
Location: Elverson
Hey Bob Eben, I stumbled onto this forum while looking for some info about grace mines, I believe you may have known my dad, grandfather, and great grandfather, (John Minnich, Nevin Minnich, and Paul Hess) all three worked there. I recently flew over grace mines which sparked my interest, and was looking for info about it in addition to what my dad has told me. I couldnt find much other than the facebook page and this forum, I'm glad to see some people keeping history alive especially in an industry so predominant in Pennsylvania industry, just wanted to say hi and I know my dad is looking forward to the reunion this july. I told him about this forum so hopefully he will post soon.
-Shawn


Last edited by Shawn Minnich on Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Grace Mine, Morgantown, PA
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:53 pm 
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Hi Shawn, your Dad was (and is) one of my best friends! I met him at Grace Mine. I know your grandfathers too.. very well... I think about Nev every time I see a Pittsburgh game. Thanks for being interested, we need you young guys to keep the story alive! -Bob


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 Post subject: Re: Grace Mine, Morgantown, PA
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:11 am 
So the buildings that still stand are a taconite plant?


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 Post subject: Re: Grace Mine, Morgantown, PA
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:03 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2013 9:38 pm
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Location: Elverson
I believe there is also a machine shop still running up there as well, I could be wrong about that though.


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 Post subject: Re: Grace Mine, Morgantown, PA
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 8:10 pm 
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The Reading Company Technical and Historical Society published two historical magazine issues on Grace Mine. See: http://www.readingrailroad.org/blindex.shtml Scroll down to 2002 & 2004: 2002: Issue 3&4, 2004: Issue 1& 2

These are excellent issues with B& W photos of the mine site, shafts, RR and underground mine trolley railway.

Ray


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 Post subject: Re: Grace Mine, Morgantown, PA
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 8:45 pm 
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Thanks Ray - I'm very familiar with these issues. My Dad (C.Frederick Eben) was one of the resources they interviewed to write them. He's referenced in there. Thanks!


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