PA State Archives Hours, Directions, & Fees Research Topics Online Catalog Land Records




Manuscript Group 339
1802-1935, 1954
59.8 cubic feet

Formed in 1864 by the owners of the Cornwall hills ore banks to ensure the fair distribution of profits from iron ore mining operations, the Cornwall Ore Bank Company was a successor to various owners of the Cornwall ore deposits who had mined the banks since 1740. Under this incorporation, ownership and the right to use the ore were distributed between Robert W. Coleman, Robert H. and Anne Coleman, Robert Coleman, George Dawson Coleman, and Edward B. and Clement B. Grubb. The owners of Robesonia Furnace did not enter into the agreement which formed the company, but were nonetheless entitled to enough ore from the ore banks to supply that furnace under the terms of a reservation contained in the deed of Peter Grubb, Jr. to Robert Coleman dated May 9, 1786. The Bethlehem Steel Company purchased most of the ore rights held by the Coleman and Grubb families by 1920. The Ore Bank represented the richest single deposit of iron ore in Pennsylvania and continued to produce for ore for Bethlehem Steel Company as late as the 1940s.

The records include letter books and telegrams, 1862-1924; articles of association and agreement, 1854-1864; agreements, deeds, leases, power of attorney and releases, 1859-1929; cash books, 1802-1921; construction ledger sheets, 1907-1912; day books, 1824-1921; iron books, 1828-1880; iron ore shipments, 1864-1919; journals, 1805-1924 ledgers, 1802-1922; an ore book, 1854-1864; powder reports, 1886-1911; and receipt, sales, settlement, shipment and time books, 1823-1935. A number of releases represent settlements negotiated with the widows or parents of workers killed or maimed while in the employ of the company and the accompanying reports often explain in detail how and why accidents occured. The wills, deeds, and powers of attorney relate to owners, guardians, and heirs of the Cornwall mines and associated company assets. The accident reports covering the years 1911-1915 were filed with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor. A minute book, 1864-1911, contains reports, motions, and discussions concerning administrative matters, finances, and legal matters. The reports were submitted by the General Superintendent who reviewed the routine operations of the mines and provide details on accidents that injured or killed workers.,

Also included are eighteen rolls of 35mm microfilm produced in 1954 that contain blueprints, prints, tracings and drawings of open pit crossections; buildings and structures such as the main office and miners' school buildings; mine maps; railroad maps for the cornwall and Lebanon areas; survey calculation books (underground and surface); and such mining equipment as electrical shovels, magnetic separators, scrapters, and hoisters.

The Records were placed on permanent deposit by Bethlehem Steel Corporation in 1981.



PA State Archives Hours, Directions, & Fees Research Topics Online Catalog Land Records