Tour-Ed Coal Mine History

History Made into one of the “Coalest” Pittsburgh Attractions

The earliest record of mining activity at the site of Tour-Ed Mine was in 1850. Known later as the Avenue Mine, it was operated by Allegheny Steel and mined by the Leechburg Mining Company. The coal extracted during this period was used locally at the Allegheny Steel Plant in Brackenridge and also shipped by rail throughout the nation.

Our late founder, Ira Wood, acquired the mine in 1964 and provided coal to many local concerns, including Tarentum Power, PPG and the Allegheny County Workhouse. Ira Wood then decided he wanted to share the history of coal mining and began plans to create one of the most unique Pittsburgh attractions.

After modifying the coal mine for visitor comfort and safety, Tour-Ed Mine and Museum was officially opened as a Pittsburgh attraction in 1970. Since then, over 1-million coal mine tours have been given by experienced miners and staff.

Mine Image

Souvenir Shop

Souvenir Shop

Our Souvenir shop has many unique gifts and souvenirs for any age including crafted pieces of coal and miner hats to novelties, candy, drinks and snacks.

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Canary in a Coal Mine?

Canary in a Coal Mine?

Miners would take canaries into a coal mine to detect the presence of dangerous methane gas or carbon monoxide. Today, coal miners have sophisticated equipment to detect and remove these dangerous gases.

Coal Mine Tour Pa

You Load Sixteen Tons and What do you Get?

In the 1800s, miners dug coal by pick and shovel and loaded it in a cart next to them. The miner would attach a brass tag with his identifying number on the cart, then the mule pulled the cart loaded with coal to the top of the mine to be weighed. Miners were usually paid by the ton in company scrip, which could only be spent at the company store.

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How Dark is Dark?

How Dark is Dark?

You'll experience what it is like to be in a coal mine with no light. Don't panic! It's only for a moment. Now this is Dark!