Company House with Double Outhouse


This abandoned company-built house and double privy stand as silent reminders of a once active mining town. The double outhouse served two neighboring families. 

The Hyde-Murphy Company of Ridgway, Pennsylvania, was responsible for building many of the homes for the Coal Company.  

In McIntyre there were two basic types of houses: the double or duplex, and the single. Both were two-story wood-framed structures with four to six rooms. Construction of the houses was done as quickly and cheaply as possible. Many had root cellars which were used by housewives as storage facilities for their canned goods and perishables. Amenities were few. Early residents had to use an outside pump for water. Coal furnaces or stoves heated the interiors of the homes. Since there was no indoor plumbing in most homes, outhouses dotted the backyards of the town.

The construction of a central powerhouse in Lucerene by the Coal Company, fueled by the abundant coal, enabled all its company mines and towns to have electricity by 1920. Some former residents remember the 25-cycle power resulting in the noticeable and constant flicker of their lights. 

Photo: collection of the author.

Richard H. Quin,  Indiana County, Pennsylvania: an Inventory of Historic Engineering and Industrial Sites (Washington, D.C.,: National Park Service, Department of the Interior, 1993), 9. 

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