Pennsylvania: Devil's Den (Gettysburg)

When the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad Company(DL&W) decided to build more permanent housing, for employees of its Truesdale colliery near Nanticoke PA,, concrete city was devised. By 1911, a total of 20, two story, concrete houses, would be laid out in a square with a courtyard in the center. These early international style two-family houses, were an innovative accomplishment for its time. Each building was split in half, and each half was rented for $8 a month. Every home contained a Kitchen, dining room, and living room on the 1st floor, with four bedrooms on the 2nd. Along with a basement and concrete outhouse. Coal stoves were used for heating, as well as cooking.

They would later find out using concrete had its draw backs. Although coal cinders and crude oil were added to the concrete mixture to avert moisture, condensation still dripped from the walls. By 1924 ,concrete city was abandoned. The Glen Alden Coal company bought the community, but left it after attempts to demolish the sight had failed. 100 sticks of Dynamite were used in an attempt to level one duplex, and the results where laughable. The solid concrete buildings would prove to be just about impenetrable.

Decade’s later ,concrete city remains. It was used as a training ground for the Luzerne County Volunteer Fireman’s Association, which left plenty of charred remains to prove it. In 1998, Concrete City was recognized by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Now it is virtually forgotten, except for local youth who use it for partying and paint ball.

-GhastlyG :September 2005/July 2009