Historic Coal Breaker Being Torn Down?

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The future of a piece of coal mining history is in question.

That's because workers are dismantling parts of the St. Nicholas coal breaker near Mahanoy City.  It's unclear if part or all of the structure will be taken down.

When coal was king it was the largest of its kind in the world. Dr. Peter Yasenchak of the Historical Society of Schuylkill County said the breaker closed about 40 years ago.

"Most of the breakers had their own mine to take care of their own coal. St. Nicholas was not, it was a central breaker in that people had to bring the coal into them."

Anne Deffley, 85, remembers the breaker working when she was in elementary school.

"All the trucks that used to be there and the coal cars and everything, oh yeah, and when we would go out for recess that is what we would look at," Deffley said.

Some people, including Rick Wargo,who lives around the historic breaker say it's high time something was done.

"Environmentally it is the right thing to do because it is a dilapidated building," Wargo explained.

Rick Shadler said the St. Nickolas breaker reminds him of his great-grandfather, who was a miner.

"He was in the Civil War and he moved up to this region as he got out."

If you want to see more pictures and information about the St. Nicholas breaker, click here.

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