Sunday, November 30, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
One one of the ore mine expeditions, we spotted this stonework alongside the Minooka Branch. None of us had any idea of what this was part of. All that is certain is that it appears to be part of a foundation.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
A little further east, new ties were placed alongside the tracks. This was part of a tie replacement project, which has since been completed. In the background is Lackawanna Station, to the right, the University of Scranton.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
I think I figured out what this cut was from. Looking at an 1877 map, this appears to be a cut through the rock for the loaded track from the Pennsylvania Coal Company's gravity railroad. This is just a short distance north (towards Dunmore) from the unnamed creek. It's also just below the Erie tracks, which were once the location of the light track back to Plains Junction.
Friday, November 21, 2008
We suspect that at some point after the mining operation was abandoned, charges were placed on the mountainside, blasting heavy rocks down across the mine openings. Sticking the camera under one of the large rocks shows a jumble of rock and debris.
On Tuesday the expedition team made the third trip down to the Lackawanna Iron Ore Mines. There was a light dusting of snow when we got down there. Here's a view of one of the mines.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Once the line crosses the Erie's right-of-way, it runs along this path, just below the Erie's tracks, for probably close to a mile. The Erie tracks would be on the top of the embankment on the left.
Last Friday we searched out the remaining parts of the Iron Ore railroad. Once the right-of-way comes around the corner of Moosic Mountain, it runs along this ridge just above the Erie's Wyoming Division trackage. As near as we can figure, this line opened in 1842 to provide iron ore to the Scranton Iron Furnaces. It ran by gravity inbound, and mules hauled the empty cars back to the mines. This line not only predates the Erie's Wyoming Division, but also the Pennsylvania Coal Company's gravity road.
Monday, November 17, 2008
On Saturday we saw this train idling along Ridge Row in Scranton. The railroad is replacing alot of ties in this stretch of track, hence all the new ties along the right-of-way. In the distance is the Community Medical Center. The University of Scranton is on the left.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
This is the group that came together to locate and explore the Lackawanna Iron Ore mine and railroad. Mike, Steve, Frank and Carl. We all have different areas of expertise, covering railroads, mining, geology, and local history. Individually we couldn't have done these trips, but together we could.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Two members of the expedition party brought digging tools, and located raw iron ore in one of the larger beds. This location is shown below in one of the snow covered trenches from the first expedition.
The expedition party made a second trip to the Lackawanna ore mines yesterday. During the exploration of the area we located what might have been a mine opening in the side of Moosic Mountain. It was blocked by large boulders, but you could feel cool air coming from the opening.
Yesterday was the 100th anniversary of the opening of Lackawanna Station, it was also 90 years since the Armistice was signed, ending the First World War. The station is depicted in these two postcard views. The top one is from the 1950's. The USO Lounge is postmarked March 7,1944. During the Second World War many larger stations had lounges for the troops.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
Another view of one of the trenches. These mines were last worked in 1875, by that time the Lake Superior ore fields were discovered. With the end of mining operations here, the iron ore railroad also ceased to exist.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
On the back side of the mountain, the road crosses this bridge over Stafford's Meadow Brook. I'm not 100% sure if this is the same bridge that the railroad used, but it does appear to be from that era. At some point after this, the present day Ore Mine Road swings away from the former track bed.
The railroad swings around the back of Moosic Mountain. This road was powered by gravity on the way down, and mules on the way back to the ore mines. It ceased operation in 1875. This portion is also known as Ore Mine Road, and is on the former roadbed.