As a Pittsburgh appraiser who services a 7 county region, when doing a Pittsburgh appraisal you run into many different things. Pittsburgh has such a rich coal mining history, in fact, so does all of southwestern Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Over the years from the time when I was small, I was told about a bridge that spanned two hilltops where I use to live, and men use to push coal carts across. I was also told there were many boarded up and sealed entrances to the mines. Supposedly, one was located in the woods behind my home, although I never found it. In fact, there was one community that was near me that had their sewage emptying into abandoned mines, I learned about this once I entered the Real Estate Industry. Then there were always the stories of back in the day when miners that lived next to the mines they worked use to dig out the seam for personal consumption and also dig passageways into the mine to get to and from work. I always thought many of these stories were colorful and really never discounted them as false, however.
It wasn’t until I was older and a friend’s brother bought a home in the Bridgeville area that proof of some of these stories came to light. It wasn’t long after he bought the home while doing something in the basement he found a false wall. Basically, it was a wooden cabinet that must not have been moved in years, but what he found behind it was a passage that went back into the hillside about 30 yards. Apparently, considering this was a coal seam, this was the homeowners ‘personal stash’ for the coal furnace. Wouldn’t the utility companies just love people doing something like this today? I guess the same could be said about solar.
The best stories, however, were of the miners that didn’t like to commute to work. It was a year or so ago when appraising a home somewhere in the eastern suburbs, Penn Hills maybe, I acquired 1st hand knowledge of a miner’s home that was tied into a coal mine. The property had obviously been abandoned for years and was located directly behind the home I was appraising, which it too was vacant due to being a foreclosure. Foreclosures are such sad stories, but that may be left for another time. Needless to say, my jaw dropped when I say it. This site put to rest all of the rumors as being true. In fact, I thought it was so unique because you just don’t see this anymore that I actually had to take a picture of it. So I would like to share with you one of the easiest commutes to work that you will ever see or have if you happened to be the fellow who lived here many years ago.
If you have any similar stories or experiences please share them below, we would love to hear them.
Bostedo Appraisal Services – We specialize in date of death appraisals, estate appraisals, pre-listing & pre-purchase appraisals, divorce appraisals, bankruptcy appraisals and more throughout the Pittsburgh and 7 County region.
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