1531 Main St, Hastings, PA 16646.
St. Boniface, Patton. I-80 exit 16 onto 219 South, at Mahaffey, take 36 South and head towards Patton. Seldom Seen Mine is right off of 36 before you enter St. Boniface.
|Light:||Incandescent Electric Light System|
Kevin Patrick (2004):
Pennsylvania Caves & other rocky roadside wonders,
Stackpole Books, Mechanicsburg, Pa, USA, 248 pp, illus. p 208-209, 228
Seldom Seen Tourist Coal Mine, 1531 Main St, Hastings, PA 16646, Tel: +1-814-247-6305.
Cambria County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Tel: +1-800-237-8590.
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
|1902||opened by the Miller Run Coal Mine Company via an adit on the other side of the hill.|
|1933||the mine is driven right through the hill and comes out the other side. This is the present day tourist entrance.|
|1933||mine bought by the Chest Creek Coal Company.|
|1939||mine opened under the name Miller Run No. 8 by Fred Maurer of Patton.|
|1940||sold to Andrew Radomsky.|
|1942||Andrew Radomsky changed the name of the company from Andrew Radomsky to The Chest Creek Coal Company.|
|1943||first electric equipment, a locomotive with battery, and a short wall cutter purchased and installed.|
|1960s||the mine closed and the top of the hill was removed by strip mining.|
|1963||E J Haluska buys the deep mine and opens it as a tourist attraction under the name Seldom Seen Valley Mine.|
|1973||petrol rationing caused by the Arab oil embargo slashed visitor numbers and Haluska sold up.|
|1990||after a number of operators ran the mine it closed.|
|1993||reopened as a non-profit operation and is run by volunteers.|
|2018||show mine closed permanently.|
Seldom Seen Tourist Coal Mine represents a rather small mine, but it is relatively intact and complete, so visitors can see any aspect of Pennsylvania coal mining. This is the former Miller Run no. 8 mine, which was purchased by Andrew Radomsky in 1940. He also bought Miller Run no. 7 only a few hundred meters away, and operated both mines together. The installation of new machinery in the early 1940s brought an increase in production, and the high time of the mine was during the late forties. In the late fifties and the early sixties the production was only half as big, but it was more or less constant. Then the mine was transformed into a tourist mine and soon after the coal mining was shut down.
As the mine was never closed, all the equipment necessary for coal mining is still there and working. This makes the mine one of the most complete mines in the area, and despite the small size visitor can see extremely well how coal was mined in Pennsylvania. There are remains of the time when the mine was operated by mule haulage. There are pumps, battery powered locomotive, wall cutter, trolley system and conveyor system to be seen. The train that once carried the miners into the mine, now transports the tourists to the working face. Here the guides demonstrate the equipment and explain the pillar and stall method of working the mine. The sound of the conveyor belt together with the noise from the cutting equipment gives a modern day impression of Dante's Inferno.
A special thing with this mine, is that it is haunted. Every year during the last three weeks of October, there are ghosts in the mine. Only the extremely brave visitor are able to visit the mine then. How the ghosts got into the mine tells the following story.
In 1901, on a dark October night, the desolate farmhouse of the widow Barbara Yahner was invaded by six masked men. The burglars broke the door of the house and Mrs. Yahner heard this. Her oldest son, Ambrose Yahner, awoke and looked for his father's pistol. The thieves went upstairs, Ambrose rushed into the hall and fired six shots. It seems he was not too good with the pistol, as he wounded only one of the intruders. His pistol was now empty, and he was badly outnumbered by the thieves, so he was easily overcome. The burglars bound and gagged the entire family. They searched the house for valuables and blew the family safe with TNT. They left with the family's priceless jewels and an undetermined amount of cash. Next day Edward Spates, John Glover and Charles Kreb were charged with the crime. But the bandits had been masked, none of the victims could positively identify them, so they got away with their crime. Now the spooky part: Spates, Glover and Krebs were never seen again after the trial. It is said that the three met with their accomplices, went into Seldom Seen Mine to hide their booty, but a cave-in buried the robbers alive. And still, somewhere deep in the mine, are the robber's bodies and their loot. Their ghosts desperately try to dig out their buried treasure.
The mine was actually not closed before it was transformed into a show mine. But it seems it was not very profitable and in the late 1980s and early 1990s the operators changed several times. Finally, the mine was operated for 25 years by a non-profit association. The mine closed in 2018 and has not been reopened. The reason was lack of money and volunteers. Miners who once served as guides have retired or died, the association had only three members at the end.