MUSE SLATE DUMP

Muse slate dump 1944
Muse, Pa.  Slate dump 1944


Company store and service station 1923  
USCO Company store and service station 1937

Coal loading tipple 1923  
Company store and service station 1923 
Coal loading tipple 1923


Muse,Pa. 1923
Muse, Pa.  under construction 1923



Memories     A Recollection of the depression years in a coal mining village in the early 30's  

         I was four years old when my family moved to the coal mining village of Muse, Pennsylvania during the the depth of the depression of the 30's.  He was fortunate in getting a job with the H.C. Frick Coal Co. since there were  many people  unemployed  at that time.  Only miners who had a job in the mine could live in Muse, because  it was built for the miners only.  The whole village was owned by the coal company, streets, red dog roads, company store, service station, every thing including their own private cops who had much more power then private security has today.  The village of Muse was situated on three hills with a baseball field in the middle of the valley  bordered by two orange creeks.  These creeks flowed through the village killing everything it came in contact with.  Nothing lived in that flowing mixture of sulfur and iron oxide.  Most of the streams in western Pennsylvania were in the same condition.  A large white house used by the mine superintendent, overlooked the ball field.  You knew it was the boss's.  The common miners houses were painted various shades of gray.  A small shed, called a coal shanty was in the rear of the lot on the alley.  It stored coal for cooking and heating.  Outsiders commonly mistook them for out houses.  Actually the village had one of the most modern sewage disposal plants in the whole area.  There were 150 gray duplex houses in the village for the working miners.  Each side of the duplex contained four rooms.  Only half of the basement was dug out.  Most people dug the rest out by hand. There wasn't any furnace for central heating  since gas was not supplied to the homes.  Coal hetrolas and coal cooking stoves were used to heat the house.  No hot water.  With a modern sewage disposal plant, they never installed bath tubs.  Think about that.  A  commode was in the basement. Electricity was installed in the homes with one light bulb in the middle of the ceiling.  There wasn't any receptacles  in the house.  A 30 amp fuses were the only fuse in the fuse box. To operate an appliance, we would take the bulb out and installed a plug adapter.  Most miners installed there own receptacles.  The kitchen had a sink with a cold water spigot.   A coal cooking stove was in the kitchen.  Some time when things got a little tough and the electric wasn't paid, you would get your electric shut off.  It happened to some of the miners.  Two large mine tipple (structures that held the elevators) stood out on top of the hills.  One tipple was situated near the bath house so the miners could change into work clothes and go down the "cage" which the  elevators were called, and get to the bottom of the mine to go to work.  A string of empty coal cars, called a mantrip,  were waiting on the bottom of the mine  to take them to their workplace further into the mine. The second tipple was used to load coal into coal cars out side the mine. Railroad tracks were laid to the mine tipple.  A coal burning steam engine pulled coal cars to and from the mine.  Waste products such as slate poor coal and other waste  products were dumped all around the mine creating what was called a slate dump.  Now you know what a slate dump is.   It burned, smoked, smoldered and stunk up the town.  It was also a hazard to the public.  The granddaddy of all pollution.  No pollution laws in those days.  Once a twelve year old boy died from the fumes after lying down on the dump trying to keep warm one winter not knowing the dangers.  The large red building in the center of the town was the "company store".  It was the only store in town.  Prices were very high.  You were under the impression that if you didn't buy there you might not be working there. They sold everything such as mine tools picks, shovels, large crowbars. augers,  brass checks for blasting powder, hard hats, furniture, clothing, jewelry, guns, etc.  They also gas and tires in the service station. They greased your car too.  One problem though.  Nobody made any money in those days.  Everything was sold on credit.  It was deducted from your pay at the mine.  A lot of paydays you got nothing.  More was spent then made.  In fact, most miners in those days were in the minus column after working for the coal company for a while.  The company managed to do this by working you only one, two, or three time a week, keeping you broke.  It didn't take long to go in the hole.  There was a curfew whistle that blew at 9:00 pm, and all the kid had to be off the streets.  The company coal and iron police (company cops) would patrol the streets and if they were caught  on the street, the kids dad would be called into the super's office  You can bet when he came home somebody would have a hard time sitting down.  Five o'clock was an important time in the life of the miner. That was when the whistle would blow if there was work tomorrow.  No whistle, no work. Needless to say, they liked to hear the whistle.  There wasn't any drugstores, movies, swimming pools or restaurants, but some considered themselves lucky anyway.  We had six bars, speakeasies, and etc. just across the village line.  On pay day that that part of town look like the wild west.  Occasional gun fire could be heard.  As kids we walked to Canonsburg (three mile away) to go to the movies, swimming pool, if we could get a dime somewhere.  Money was hard to get.  There were five two room school buildings on the hill where the the present school now stands. I help to open it up in 1937.  These building had a coal furnace in each room.  The upper grade boys did the coal shoveling.  Kind of hard for the teachers in the lower grades.  There was about forty students in each class.  Some classes had two grades.  Paddling?  Sure . Some teachers were more generous then others.  You remember the most generous ones the longest.  Ink wells were built into the desk.  You were issued replaceable pen points.  Really tough to write with that pen.  No cafeteria.  The rest rooms were out side.   Nobody wasted any time there in the winter.  We played street hockey with tin cans and sticks, soft ball with a home made rag ball, out door basket ball, or just plain roaming the fields picking apples, berries, choke cherries and nanny goat turds.  Most everyone had to do chores.  I spent a lot of time in the garden  weeding and planting.  Firewood had to be gathered.  Coal had to be picked on the slate dump put in burlap sacks, loaded in the wheelbarrow and pushed about a quarter of a mile home.  Real tough for a kid in the hot summer.  We had to make sure we didn't run out of coal.  That was called the good ole days.                            
                                                                                  jsoma

                                                                                                                                                    

Family  names  in Muse in  pre  WW2

                                                                                                                                                                                        
Abrams
Adams
Albanese
Arlia
Abruzzi
Anderson
Abate
Alumkia
Buzzoto
Bazan
Brown
Broutin
Battista
Boling
Benjanin
Brooks
Bivens
Barley
Budavich
Baron
Belleno
Beltz
Brock
Bayto
Bonfield
Baccash
Blanco
Blanko
Badio
Blues
Basso
Ball
Baker
Burns
Baxter
Battistone
Bernardine
Bouquet
Borza
Brinkman
Beros
Bushmire
Bartaluzzi
Bolden
Bruno
Boline











Casper
Christnr
Crilly
Calabro
Clark
Coll
Compeggi
Contos
Cowan
Constanza
Coleman
Carlisle
Cox
Ciaffoni
Cindric
Carson
Camerson
Chambers
Carter
Cassidy
Czernechi
Corotioce
Casciola
Cordisco
Ciccola
Conneicheck
Cosoli
Chrich
Cottingham
Colucci
Colin
Callahan
Clark
Coleman
Caughan
Carsone
Carjevic

Dantry
Dzurnio
Demko
DiBattista
Dix
DeAmico
DeGivanie
Dierinzo
DiSteffeno

DiGasbarro
DeAndrea
Domick
Donella
DeGenare
Dreamel
Dubravich
DiPaolo
Davis
Dellasanday
DiMatteo
Densen
Dumire
Dorish
Dutzer

Devine
Dean
DeGitanie
DeFranco
DeGenova
DePadova
DelVecchio
DePompeo

Desro
Dobbins
Everette
Emme
Egbert
Floyd
Felich
Fonh
Funka
Fox
Frye
Farrell
Francis
Forsyth
Greely

Gallagher
Green

Gergosky
Ghrist
Gomber
Galensky
Gaiten
Grubish
Gagish
Gruduvich
Gigac

George
Geray
Gasbarinne
Giacobbi

Graham
Garrett
Garlisi
Galardi
Gorup
Gardner
Gordon
Grimes
Hightower

Howell
Hirsh
Hylra
Hrabscak

Howell
Hirsh
Hylra
Hrabscak

Hirsh
Hylra
Hrabscak

Hollish
Humas
Hunter
Houcraft

Hill
Hanley
Hopson
Haley
Hartman
Harde
Hatalsky
Hrendic
Huges
Ilikas
Iannarelli

Ind. ItalianClub
Jones

Janicho
Johnson
Jurcic
Krantz
Keleman
Kler
Kasputis
Kuntz

Karchella
Kiemas
Kirby
Kanish
Krutak
Kemp
Kopiec
Kerchinic
Krisflalucy
Kiemas

Kumer
Kemejuk
Kaeser
Kraynak

Klescik
Kotar
Kazak
Kvindis
Kelly
Kostelich
Kiolicas
Kurnick
Klamut
Koman

Koscak
Kazzur
Lowe
Lengo
Leasure
Liptak
Leonardi
Lee

Lucregi
Lucoski
Larson
Melnyk
Murdock
Marcerelli
Markovich
Malpassi
Museo
Marinelli
Mosley
Moszynski
Marshall
Mulligan
Martincic
Moss
Milbower
Moody
Marlette
Mates
Marlardi
Mohlar
Murdaca
McCahill
McIanam
McCauslin
McDonald
McNiel
McTeauge




McCarthy
McCaffrey
McQuade
McIvany
Madeka
Nadija
Naccarto
Novich
Oluich
Oddis

Orbich
O'Niel

O'Hare
Pasavento
Pushkar
Page
Paige
Porter
Pavic
Phillips
Puzzetti
Powell
Pernick
Peteka
Pappas
Prost
Panchura
Pacharka
Parco
Peucci
Parks
Pozonsky
Prentice
Pucci
Pasteryk
Popich
Parker
Polyak
Porto
Papakie
Popyak
Petronie
Plute
Phillips
Preteroti
Parascenzo
Peternell
Pokus
Park
Porto

Robertson
Roherman

Rubis
Rockovich
Roberts
Roman
Rotendo
Russell



Ruby
Restaneo
Reckus
Reynolds
Rabarevich
Roadman
Robosky
Rover

Ripoff

Sievy
Scott

Scot
Szopo
Scruppij
Schlupitz
Stutts
Spadoni
Stebila
Semenick
Sprence
Sandala
Shumaker
Scappaticci
Staduhar
Susak
Sharek
Savage
Sabec
Stebec
Snively
Smith
Sohyda
Stevens
Saviolis
Saieva
Sprencz
Schneider
Schwemer
Schmeley
Soma
Strogish
Sevock
Stowe
Stevansky
Sulzinsky
Stuclins
Scruppy
Schwemel
Snovak

Seaman
Sneegan
Steiner
Smallwood
St.Clair
Selva
Seaman
Sneegan


Steiner
Smallwood
St.Clair
Silva
Stebanski
Sanders
Sanders
Schwiemer
Thompson
Timko
Tonkovich
Terputac
Trilko
Timan
Toffolo
Tonsetic
Towchak
Trisland
Tonelli
Tatano
Terrill
Toth
Talentino

Towchik
Tristaini
Truland
Teamen
Uroik
Urbani
Urchak
Vaiksnoris
Vallet
Vernolia
Vincenty
Vignott
Walker
Wilkens
Ward
Watkins
Wallack
Wasuchino
Whitcanage
Weiman
Wilson
Williams
Yago
Young
Yesenchak
Yorke
Yorkavich
Young
Zakerzkis
Zotov
Zelensky
Zahorscak
Zygaroviez


                                                    There are missing and mispelled names here.
 If you have any corrections, comments or suggestions, e-mail me at   johnsoma@verizon.net