Montour Railroad 

Montour Railroad








Working on the Montour

Sposato Stories


Railroading 101



Henderson No 1. Mine

Read Bob Ciminel's report on the Henderson No 1 Mine.

The 1940 Montour timetable shows Henderson Siding at MP 27.79 with a capacity of 65 cars.  I believe this was the former National Siding that was renamed after National No. 2 closed down.  Hendersonville station was listed at MP 28.22, not quite a half-mile east of the siding.
Henderson Siding was station 124 and had a derail on the east end.  Henderson Mine was station 125 with a west end connection off of the siding and an east end connection off of the empty yard.  Another east end connection was made off of tracks 1 & 2 from the loaded yard.  These two east end connections to the main track may have served as a runaround track because there doesn't appear to be one at the tipple.  Station 126 was the Hendersonville Commercial Spur with an east end connection off of the main track.  The spur held 6 cars and probably served the company store among other things.  Train crews were cautioned that it was not safe for locomotives to go beyond the mine's supply track switch and the supply track was only safe for engines up to the unloading pit.
The 1947 timetable only shows stations 124 for the Henderson Siding and 126 for the Commercial Spur.  The mine is not listed in the timetable, suggesting that it was either closed or abandoned.
Henderson is listed in the 1977 timetable but the siding is not listed.  Bob Ciminel

The Henderson Mine had an interesting setup. The mine was west of the point where the southeasterly trending Cross Creek Syncline abruptly ended at the Nineveh Syncline, which trended northeast. The coal seam ranged from 760' MSL at the southeastern end of the mine to 800' MSL at the western edge of the workings. The mine was down in the valley of McPherson Creek, at around 1,000' MSL, which kept the workings fairly shallow (about 240' at the tipple).

Henderson No. 1 Mine was opened in 1914 at McPherson's Mill (Hendersonville) and coincided with the completion of the Mifflin Extension of the Montour Railroad.  The mining camp, built by the Henderson Coal Company to provide housing for the miners, was named Hendersonville in honor of Mr. William Henderson, an official of the company.  The mine was eventually purchased by the Pittsburgh Coal Company and operated into the 1950s.
At 6:20 a.m. on March 13, 1917, the Henderson mine was rocked by a methane/coal dust explosion that resulted in the deaths of 14 miners.  The explosion was attributed to a build up of methane gas that resulted when ventilation doors were left open during the morning shift change.  The gas was ignited by an electrically-powered mining machine, a new technology in use at some newer mines in the Pittsburgh area.
The mine site and village are located northeast of the Southpointe exit on I-79 at the intersections of Morganza Road and Georgetown/Cecil Henderson Road.  The tipple was northeast of Henderson Drive and south of the Montour Trail.


Below is a map of the Henderson Mine. Marked are the locations of the Montour RR, the two shafts into the mine (the coal seam was at 760 feet above sea level here), and Morganza Road.  Ground elevation at the intersection of Morganza Road and Georgetown Road is 998 feet above sea level, so the mine was around 230 feet deep.


More pictures of the Henderson Mine can be found here.