Submitted by Bill Matlack.
This photo of young Ferguson Township resident, in around 1930, is particularly interesting because of the coal tipple it shows crossing over the 2012 Route between Kerrmoor and New Millport.
If viewed very carefully, it shows the tipple’s wooden structure in the background. The base of the rail incline accessing the old #23 mine is shown toward the far right of the photo.
In a second attempt to reclaim the failed Wiley mine that had previously operated in this location, the incline allowed an upper vein of ‘D’ coal to be lowered to the train cars of the New York Central onto a spur siding provided by George S. Good.
This photo is featured in Bill Matlack’s recently-printed article outlining the significance of the mining and railroading activity that was once here and is now nearly forgotten – and the once-thriving communities that supported the rail system and the prosperity of the local area here in central Clearfield County.
In the late 19th century, the coal industry gave support and meaning to the lives of many residents who would otherwise have had little to nothing.
Over the recent years, as the coal industry has declined across the area, it seems important to look back and give both the coal industry and the railways that served it their due for the prosperity they once brought to this region.
The young fellow in the foreground of the photo is Harry Matlack, Bill Matlack’s father, remembered by many as a teacher of history and researcher of indigenous Indian cultures of the local Clearfield County area.
The publication is named Prosperity on the Gazzam Branch and attempts to give a reader the ability to consider the scale of this prosperity that once existed here – and to feel free to weigh its residual effects on the present time from a number of perspectives.
Limited quantities are available for $29, which includes shipping. Copies can be purchased by check through U.S. mail, payable to Bill Matlack, and sent to Bill Matlack, 1648 Old Station Rd., New Millport, PA 16861.