Crews Tearing Down Historic Coal Breaker

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ASHLEY – After months of planning and site preparation, contractors have started dismantling the historic Huber Breaker in Luzerne County.

Attorneys for the new property owners said the former anthracite coal processing facility will be demolished, and hundreds of tons of salvaged steel will be sold for scrap.

Although state officials said the old coal breaker was at risk of collapsing, some people who live in Ashley said they were saddened to see their hometown landmark go.

"I’m not surprised, but I’m not happy about it either,” said Jim Spak. “If I won the lottery, I would have bought the breaker and saved it myself.”

Huber Breaker Preservation Society Chairman Ray Clarke said he’s hopeful that contractors can salvage mementos from inside the breaker, before it all comes down.

"A piece of the shaker chute and there`s a crusher up on the top floor. I don`t know what kind of condition it will be when it comes down, but hopefully they`ll save that for us,” said Clarke. "It’s going to be strange. I walk out my gate and I can see that building every day for the last 80 years.”

The group is still collecting funds for a growing memorial park in Ashley.

The property owners have not said how long demolition work is expected to take, or what is planned for the land when the breaker is gone.

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