August 17, 2011

'Anonymous' writes: "The hills in the background of the picture of Springfield Mine on this website [seen above] appear similar to the mystery picture."

Additional new emails (as of August 17 and 18), along with a webmaster' note can be read at the bottom.


Phyllis LaMantia Grembi found the photo above on the Library of Congress archive and asks us if we think it is Springfield Mine. Your webmaster has no memory of that mine, though for any younger-generation readers who don't remember even Springfield, I can say it is the part of Nanty Glo that continues on toward Cambria Township via Buelah Road after Cardiff Road turns off toward Blacklick Township. The Library of Congress labels this as just a photo taken between 1935 and 1945. Does anyone remember this view clearly enough to say with certainty? Maybe someone would send us a recent digital photo taken from Buelah Road to see if the hills beyond what appears to be downtown Nanty Glo and Finntown on the right side of this photo, match the current lay of the land. Reply to

FEEDBACK [most recent on top]:

March 9, 2014

Yes, yes, yes. Iíd bet my life on it. I grew up in Springfield in the '50ís. The mine was closed by then and the only thing left of these buildings were pieces of the foundations but I spent my childhood playing there. Just to the left of these buildings was an area that we used for our baseball field back then. If you hit the ball over the first piece of the foundation that was sticking up out of the ground it was a home run. As a young boy I thought that skyline in the top picture was the edge of the world. I can still see it in my dreams.

Families that lived in this area back then were McTavishes, Brinzos, Simmons, Toths, Hagens, and of course the Stephens. There were also the Gordons; Mr. Gordon was a bee keeper and the OíFarrellís and Furnariís canít forget them.

My grandfather worked in the Springfield mine for a time before it was closed. He was injured in a mining accident, not in Springfield but there in Nanty Glo, I believe it was the mine down in Nettleton, and he lost most of his right arm and was unable to work. He died in 1955, shortly before I turned 4.

That railroad trestle in the first picture ran across what we called the Sulphur Creek. In the '50ís and '60ís, the water was yellow from all the sulphur in it. The trestle came across the creek there and then turned back to this side of the valley and the railroad was on land for a bit, then there was another trestle that spanned the two streets that came out this way. The one street was below the double set of train tracks that have now been removed and converted to a walking trail. As kids, we used to go down there and hop on the trains and ride into town from Springfield. Those tracks were used by the passenger cars as well as the coal cars back then. There was also an upper set of train tracks that ran right about where this photographer was standing and our house was just above these tracks. Those tracks have also been removed and there is a trail there now. I spent many hours walking the rails of these tracks. Wow, what memories.

This is an incredible photo. I am so grateful to have come across it. As I said, these buildings were gone when I was raised there but the view of the valley is unmistakable. This is the Springfield area of Nanty Glo and therefore I am sure this was the Springfield mine.

Tom Stephens

It actually seems a little strange at this point finding something that I'm too young for. But my brother-in-law might be able to shed some light on this:

The big rock dump in the background and the long trestle to its right fit with the Heisley area. From where the photo was taken, it could very well be Springfield just before you go down the big hill on the back road to Beulah. I do recall somewhat of a rock dump at the top of the hill where Springfield was located. To the left would have been the Springfield company houses, perhaps out of camera sight for this picture.


Dominic says he thinks that is the photo of the mine that you could see from the Nanty Glo Ball Park, that was behind the rock dump. Don't know if this is right. [Unsigned]

I remember my father telling me about the Springfield mine being located along Beulah Road. We used to travel that road quite often. I am not sure about the exact location other than Beulah Road. Hope this helps. Patricia McGlynn

Webmaster's note: I'm still not certain it's even Nanty Glo, but no one else seems to question that. There were hundreds of coalmining towns in the period and most were in valleys. Please keep the thoughts, guesses, and any actual evidence coming.

August 17, 2011

Hey Jon, I cannot say for certain this is Nanty Glo either. The topography looks the same but I do not remember the high smoke stack in town located above the mine tipple about center of the picture. Does anyone remember the smoke stack and its purpose? It would help if we could be certain this pic is of Nanty Glo. Bud Book

Webmaster's note: The photo from 'anonymous' makes a good case, I think. Though the hills are barely visible, the portions of the tipple seen in the second photo seem identical to the original (presumbly later taken) photo. I have created a cut out of that portion and enhanced the greyscale (right and lower right corner of the second photo above). Also, the contour of the rockdump and the position of the railroad seem to me the same, despite the discrepancy of the "aspects" from which both photos were taken.

August 18, 2011

That is the Springfield Mine and tipple. My grandfather, J. P. Whitsell, worked that mine with mules, pulling the coal out of the mine. I had seen pictures of this area in the early part of 1952. Believe me that was a bad mine to work in, according to my grandmother. Barry Hayes

Related pages: The Mines

MORE ON THE MINES: Historic photos of Nanty Glo and Cardiff mines
and rockdumps, from a Library of Congress collection from 1937

The Cardiff / Nettleton Page

Nanty Glo Home Page | Blacklick Twp Page  | Vintondale Page  | Jackson Twp. Page