Helvetia Mine Power Plant, Helvetia, PA


3 comments posted
Helvetia Mine

Mr. Joslin: My grandfather, Thomas D. Thomas, began working in the mines at the age of 13. At about 18 he went off to the Iron City Business College in Pittsburgh. He became superintendent of the Helvetia mine at some point in the Thirties and remained in that position until the late Forties. (I was born in 1944 at the Maple Avenue Hospital in DuBois, and can clearly remember my grandfather taking me to work one day, so he must have not have retired until at least 1947 or 1948.)

He was a good man - went down into the mine EVERY day and at the end of the war received a commendation from the Bureau of Mines for being the first mine boss ever to get a perfect 100% score in a safety inspection. (I last saw the document about about 10 years ago, when I was still living in the UK; alas, I apparently lost it in the move.)

He and my grandmother (and, during the War, my mother)lived in a big house, owned by the mining company, whose driveway, as I recall, was the first turn on the right after the RR crossing on the road coming out of Helvetia.

The tragedy in West Virginia is what motivated me to google Helvetia.

Posted by Phillipp Thomas Benghauser (Tom) (not verified) on 7 April 2010 - 4:27pm
Tragedy in West Virginia?

Hello Phillipp,
I was hoping you'd enlighten me as to what the tragedy in west virginia was that inspiried you to google helvatia. Earlier today i went out to the helvetia dam and took a little tour around the old power plant that's still crumbling out there, and i left with a sense of awe and a deepened curiosity. If there's another incident that's connected with this place, i'd truly like to know.
Thank you, and wishing the best to you and yours,

Posted by Alan Burke (not verified) on 30 May 2013 - 8:38pm
Hello, I live ten minutes

Hello, I live ten minutes away from helvatia and I just visited this site yesterday for the first time! Im going to back today to this powerplant and take pictures, I will post them when I get home for you to see! It looks nothing like this now. Its only like half a building left, but it seems so mysterious to me, I was trying to research it up online when I found this webpage. So we're going back today to explore!

Posted by Anonymous (not verified) on 17 March 2010 - 2:20pm

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