Dorrance Fan House / Stay Out Stay Alive


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February 26, 2011

Dorrance Fan House / Stay Out Stay Alive

Driving by the old Dorrance Fan House and noticed some new signs and fencing.  It says NO TRESPASSING    STAY OUT STAY ALIVE

Well by June it will be so grown in you won't be able to see it.   Before they backfilled you could see more - there is a fan and an airlock in those buildings.  

I don't know how many times we were in these buildings when we were growing up.

That is nothing - the real dangerous one was the Shaft House - the air shaft was there.  One night we were out walking and we found some alumni from Sacred Heart Slovak School in the Shaft House drinking beverages made from Hops and Barley.  Chechem Pivo !!!    

Well we were in the hoist house (I think the nursing home is where that was)  and snow was falling thru the holes in the room.  One of the guys says "Watch out - that it the air shaft.  Throw a rock in, you'll see".   I threw a rock in - 1, 2 ,3 ,4  almost 7 seconds go by - plunk !!!   The rock finally hit the water in the bottom.   So that sucker was deep.   If you fell in there you weren't coming back out.

This Colliery was part of the Lehigh Valley Coal Company.

A few years back I was talking to a resident of the Nursing Home - he told me he worked at the Colliery.  He lived in the Valley and then moved to Philly and then came back to Wilkes-Barre.   He said he had no idea he would be living were he used to work - the coal breaker. 

Dorrance Fan House / Stay Out Stay Alive

Dorrance Fan House / Stay Out Stay Alive

Dorrance Fan House / Stay Out Stay Alive

The last I heard is that sometimes Homeless people stayed in these buildings. One time there was an idea to remove the fan and display it at LCCC - but that fell through. (It would cost too much money, better spent on education.)

While I agree that Stay Out, Stay Alive is a good idea, but I wonder when I hear all the stories about my Grandmother, Mother and Aunts and Uncles.

My Grandmother used to say when the coal trains would stop they would jump on the coal cars and kick off coal. The guy would come and chase them with a club. Later they would come back and pick the coal.

Then my mother and my cousins would ice skate on the ponds in the stripping pits.

Sleighriding on cardboard down the culm dumps ...

Maybe they did not know it was dangerous back then.

Dorrance Fan House / Stay Out Stay Alive

Dorrance Fan House / Stay Out Stay Alive

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