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Green Mountain Coal Basin

The place where I went to the mountains was located on and surrounded by mostly abandoned coal mined areas. The lakes were abandoned strip mines filled with water. They supported fish just fine but you could tell the ones that had the acid mine drainage water flowing into them. The water was a different color and not much would really grow in or near the water except a few weeds.. All these years later I realize it’s because that was terrible for the environment.

Needless to say I had endless fun playing in the dirt and on the rocks on the “hills.” I did love imagining the history of the area. Older people said the one deepest lake had equipment still on the bottom because it flooded so fast. If you went on to the adjoining properties you could find more abandoned strip mines, some filled with water and some dry. Lots of trash was around from illegal dumping too.

Arias West and southwest of there had 3 abandoned deep mine drainage tunnels. I was told there was a 4th but never managed to find that one.

Interesting thing about them is the water table was lower so the strip mines didn’t have much if any water in them in the areas of those tunnels.

Catawissa tunnel was one that went east from the side of the mountain and the first one I remember seeing it when the family walked to find it after being told it was there. The front of that one was still open 30 years ago but it had a rusty old gate. This one had quite a bit of water coming out of it every time I was there. The rocks were all stained Orange. It was collapsed a little ways inside from what you could see from the outside.

A little bit up hill from that you could some old foundations about 2 or 3 strip mines north of there. I was told that that was the company town when the mines were operating. I think it was called Green Valley but I could be remembering slightly wrong. I remember my dad waning to go metal detecting there. Near the foundations there was a couple of fruit trees. Apple I think. I used to wonder if that was left from when the buildings were there.

The black dirt road that went through the area from what I was told had been a railroad at one time. The people that lived in Green mountain would go to church on the train. Even when I was there there were no real sines of it.

A little bit down stream on the catawissa it went down into a deep valley and on the other side of that was another tunnel.

Audenried was the next one down stream and much bigger although the entrance was collapsed all the times I saw it. The few times I was there I noticed there was more landslides as time went on. The water was orangeish and the rocks were all stained. Plants didn’t grow at the water and it smelled like sulfur. That’s probably why it was known as the sulfur mine. I was told that it was big enough that you could drive a truck through it. that seemed reasonable by the size of the timbers that would be laying around in front of it.

The last drainage tunnel was the Spring Mountain Tunnel. That one always had very cold air coming out of it and the water was cold. On a hot summer day we’d ride our quads down to it and hang out there. It was not collapsed like the others and you could go in it. It was really interesting to see the solid rock walls and how the rock changed as you went it.

It was a shame to see what happened to the natural aspect of the land but I did enjoy riding on the hills and sand pits. Next time I visit my mom I’ll see if I can’t hunt down my old pictures I had. Most of this information came from the older guys I knew at the mountains, especially “Kelly.” It’s been 20 years since I’ve heard from anyone there. I thought I’d post this because there really isn’t much information available about the area.