Another Walk into Our Coal Mining Past. The Jeddo Tunnel And Another Long Abandoned Spur Of The D. S. & S. Railroad.
It was sunny and cold Sunday here in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Winter is fast approaching and there are few song birds in the woods now. Insects, frogs, turtles and snakes are all gone and there are no flowers, shrubs or foliage to photograph or berries or mushrooms to pick. So. once again, I decided to hike through and photograph some of the coal mining history in our area.
I drove to the small patch town of Hazle Brook. Located on the western edge of Foster Township near the Stockton or Council Ridge mountain this town, as almost all the patch towns in our area was once the site of the Hazle Brook Colliery. The coal mining buildings are gone but a few houses remain.
I walked north on the railroad tracks and came to the the famous Hazle brook or Council ridge tunnel. Construction on this 1000 foot tunnel in the mid 1850’s by the Lehigh Hazleton Railroad Company and was completed in August of 1859. I reflected on thoughts of the men digging this tunnel in the wilderness of these mountains.
I headed back and found the old bridges from another spur of the Coxe Brothers D. S. & S, railroad that hauled coal from their mines from around the hazleton area and competed with the Lehigh Valley Railroad. This is a link to some more photographs of the tunnel .https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-page-2/nggallery/photographs-page-two-blog/hazle-brook-jeddo-tunnel-tunnel-november-29-2015
I climbed the step embankment and found the old right of way has become heavily overgrown with trees and shrubs. I hope to hike it on another day but on Sunday I headed up and over the Stockton or Council Ridge Mountain.
I wanted to hike down to a ridge over looking the historic village of Eckley. Unfortunately, there is a mining operation recovering the coal silt or dirt that accumulated from many years of washing coal after it was processed in a breaker. I wasn’t able to walk through the thick wet coal mud so headed back atop the mountain.
I walked to the top of the Hazle Brook tunnel where there was a view of the town of Freeland to the north. I sat and enjoyed the view, thinking how many coal miners sat here, on a day off from the their underground gloom, and enjoyed the same fresh air and view, I walked down the mountain again and to the railroad tracks and old strip mines that may have been mined over a hundred years ago.
I headed up and over the mountain and back to my jeep. It was cold and windy but still a great day to explore some more of Northeastern Pennsylvania. Here is a link to some more photographs of my hike. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-page-2/nggallery/photographs-page-two-blog/hazle-brook-jeddo-tunnel-hike-november-29-2015
Adventure is worthwhile in itself.” – Amelia Earhart