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Where Earth's Crust Is Fragile and Cave-Ins
Swallow Houses Whole
A SMALL COLLAPSE OF TERRA FIRMA AT MAYFIELD. PENN.
Down in the Undermined Valleys of the Lacka
wanna and Wyoming Rivers Persons as Well
as Buildings Have Been Gobbled Up,
and Fear Is Broadcast There.
A SITUATION of affairs unpreced?
ed in human history has arisen
the Lackawanna and Wyoming v
leys of Pennsylvania, where over W
aren? the crust of the earth is show
.tens r?: < -avlng In. Bo serious la the pr
lem '.hat the government Bureau of SI.
has recently ui.deriaki n n Inv? sticat
On June 15 la.t five children wer?- play:
together on a puriic recreation found
Old Forge, which la about twenty n.l
from the city of Scranton. Penn. The pll
was a gioansward on a hillside, shaded
trees. Suddenly oi.e of the youngsters,
little girl, disappeared, simply vanlst
from the sight of her horrified playmat
She had Callen into a mine tunnel whl
followed a vein of coal nc;u- to the surf,
at that spot, the earth giving way bene.'i
her. Her bodv was recovered later.
ALARM IN SCRANTON.
Uncertainties of the landscape, ?lu ?
such cave-ins, have become very alarm!
of late in many parts of the two vail .
which are extensively undermined by w m
lngs for coal, and In the city of Scrant
and its vicinity much anxiety is _ei: on t
subject, especially since only a short tti
ago a acboolbouae broke partly throw
the earth's trust and thr< ?? swi
That tin alarm is by no means ground! ?
may be Judged from the fscl that,
lnp to an estimate recently
gorernm? nt Bui i a u ?: M i -. a
A quantity of material has been removed '
? mining ? xcavatlon from beneath I
' of Bcranton than has been ?uj out of t
Isthmus of Panama In the constru
tin- i?? arly completed canal.
In t! achoolhouie acci-.c
above mentioned those who visited t
scene after it occurred ?srere able to lo<
directly into the mine tunne'.M below, B
this was an affair almost tri.'Vn . compor
with something In the same line tii.it ha
pened in BcraatOO ?n the .'?ith day of la
November a double dwelling house .
Nos. i.'?.'.; and 1525 Kos.- avenue, oci ?
two families, being completely engulfed i
a cave-in of old workings In tic- big ve
of the \'??n Storch colliery.
OCCUPANTS' FORTUNATE ESCAPI
The escs].f the occupants was litt
short <if miraculous. It was Just about
a. m.. and Mis. Patrick J. Buckley, l
one of the houses, had begun to prepai
breakfast for her sous, who were to g
to work at 6 o'clock. She had light- I Ul
gas range, and was going Into the pantr
to get some provisions when she felt
sudden convulsion, the building pltchin
forward toward the street.
Being a long time resident of a regio:
where the expression "terra firma" ha
become to some extent obsolete, she re il
laed at once that the house was going dowi
into a mine cave, and. ser*-arning an alarm
ran to thi outside, a moment later sh?
was followed by tier husband and the rea
Of the family, all in their night clothes
Qui? k action was necessary, for within te
minutes the main part of the dwelling ha?
gone down Into the hole, dragging tin
kitchen part over on top of It.
Meanwhile a crowd of neighbors had as
sembled. and three fire companies had ar
rived on the scene. Rut, although It wat
quickly ascertained that the Buckleys wer?
safe, nothing had been heard about the in?
mates of the other house, a man named
Stevens and his wife. It was surmise*!
that they were Imprisoned and unable tc
effect their escape,
CARRIED UP A LADDER.
The two houses, built as one, were stead?
ily sinking, and, If anything was to be done,
there was no timo to be lost. A young man
named Perry, the son of a neighbor, pro?
cured a ladder, and, with his father's help,
lowered It in such a way that he was
enabled to climb Into a window of the
8tevens house. Whereupon he and Mr.
Stevens carried Mrs. Stevens, who was in
a state of collapse from shock, up the lad?
der to the surface.
Thus no lives were lost. But scarcely
had the rescue been accomplished when the
whole building crashed down into n shape?
less mass and fire belched up through the
broken timbers a?bovo tho roofs of houses
close by. The firemen quickly got Into ac?
tion, and the dwellings thus threatened
were saved, though considerably scorched.
Of course, the Stevens and Buckley fami?
lies lost everything they had
Occasional items of telegraphic news
printed In newspapers In other parts of
tho country have given no adequate notion
of tho alarm felt In Bcranton and other
parta of the anthracite coal region on ac?
count of mine cave-lna. One should realize
that Bcranton Itself is a large city, with a
population of 130,000 souls, and over exten?
sivo areas It is built upon a mere crust.
Tho situation Is as if gigantic rats had
run vast systems of ramifying burrows un?
derneath the town, thus rendering the very
But, aa already! stated, tho same con?
dition of affaira exlata In other parta Of the
Lackawanna and Wyoming valleys, many
entire towns being similarly undermined,
i Thejnlno roojs-inj. laces?aa in some parts
r ?? tterauuiii, ?*'*_?*;?'.a*-__ai>loxaru*' u?. "_a?ro
than ten feet thick, and the practice of
"robbing" mine pillars, the only support of
the surface crust, has been carried on to
S m??st dangerous extent Often, Indeed,
the greed of mining operators causes them
to remove pillars altogether to get the coal
they ? ontain.
The usual method of supporting mine
Is i-itlur to leave solid pillars of un?
touched coal for the purpose or else t<
atones, the latter being built Into a pile
without mortar or else thrown Into a crib
resembling s loghouse in its style of con?
atructlon. The principal objection to Mi?
lus of coal is that seams In the material
and variations- in its texture may render
Agitation "f the question here dis?
brought about the appointment of a
state commission to study mln?- cave-ins in
? thredte region of Pennsylvania, and
to furnish scientific data on which to base
definite and exact conclusions experimenta
recently been made al Lehign Uni?
versity, In South ?Bethlehem, In rela..
the supporting power of pillars of various
?Is. Kor this purpose csrios
materials- auch a? sandstone, coal, slate,
mine timber. Are clay and crushed si
have i ? I to the laboi story at I.e.
high and the:.- built Into model mina col?
letert line their
??a being t ? geat vert
tearing apparatus in the world, capable of'
? 1". .nils.
NO BOTTOM HAS BEEN FOUND.
., is not the only ?.
tli.it . ? . : .
At Ne. k
City, Mo., in January of laat year, a hole
auddenly ???.. ;.??! under a mlllpond, and a I
elm u?? was literal y swallowed into
it h In a cave su larga thai nothing
of the tree was visible a few hours later.
Tl..- long? ' ? that ci uld be obtained,
with a weight on the end of it for sound?
Ing, found no bottom t-? tin- cavern. In
this instance, however, the hollow beneath
ti?- earth was of natural origin.
Not long ago, mar the Budwelser Mine,
at Tuckahoe, a considerable piece ?if land-j
A CAVE-IN IN STAUNTON, VA? IN
WHICH A HOUSE AND A TREE
TWENTY-FIVE FEET HIGH DIS?
scapo fell In, owing to the pumping out
of water, Incidental to mining operations.
tmWt again was a natural subterranean
cavern, and when the water was removed
the roof fell in. Owing to similar causes,
near the Sand Ridge Mine, at Aurora,
great cracks resembling thoso caused by
an earthtjuake developed in the summer
Such facts n_ these, already known,
served to shed light upon the causes of
a very remarkable hapi>enlng In the city
of ?taunton, Va., where. In the summer
of 1910, much alarm was felt lest a large
part of the town was destined to drop Into
the bowels of the earth. A Berles of *__v
enious, crater shaped openings In the
ground apj>eared, on? house fell through
and disappeared and various other asso?
ciated phenomena excited a not unreason?
The trouble began on the 11th day of
August, when the occupants of a dwelling
on the aouth side of Baldwin street heard
a crash, as If directly underneath them,
whereupon the building suddenly shook
and eank four feet. In less than an hour
it had sunk ten feet, a hole thirty feet in
diameter having appeared, and a tree
twenty-five feet high presently dropped
into the opening, vanishing entirely from
A few houra later the hole caved in at
CHARLES EUZIAN, EXPERT OF BUREAU OF MINES,
JUST TUMBLED THROUGH THE LANDSCAPE.
There Are Regions in Missouri and Virginia,
too, Where Underlying Caverns Have De?
voured Slices of the Landscape and
Threaten Serious Disasters.
dwelling, which wa_ of two stories an
28 by 3"? f?:et in floor dimensions, finall
?Iropped through and rani
Two hours rift.r the first break a sec
end one occurred, on the opposite si'l?* f|
Baldwin street, diagonally icroaa k lou
report like that of a gun, was heard, an?
a hole appeared four foot square in iron
of an englno house. It grow in size a
guiar intervals until it reached near
ly across the street ami under the engin?
bouse, Im identally, the latter was _?
badly damaged that it bad to bo ton
down afterward BOOM hOUTS later a fam
?ly named Todd, living not far away
heard rumblings and mysterious noises
wheroupon a third hole, bigger than eithei
_f the other two. t^gan to appear. I
was about seventy-live foot southwest 01
? the first opening. Enlarging until it wai
ninety feet long by sixty foot wide, 1!
swallowed up three trees ?and a portion 01
To.id dwelling. Bounding showed thai
It wa_ a hundred ami fifty feet deep, put
water poured Into it until it was ?Uled t?
within twenty-ihree foot of the surface
of tho ground.
ANOTHER CAVE-IN FOLLOWS.
Two weeks afterward, on August 27, there
i ; ? irth cave-,.- .1 and
twelve feet In diameter, ;
side of Lewis street from tin" third ;
Among the negroes of Btaunton there
I was a strong Impression thai the world
coming to an end. Attempta were
la to till up the holes, parti ?ularly
? ned tho ei
dumping wheelbarrow f rocks
. Into them, bul I out as <
fecthrs as if one were to try to choke the
? rater of Vesuvius with ? What
was finally done was t?? build a contrat?
arch along the line of the op?
reinforcing the arth crust locally and
venting further damage.
l-*?ir a while the whole affair was regard
? .1 as una- Countable, but an Invest
i- t on font by ti. goi ei nment ? ;? ??
Survey has since furnli hed a i
planatlon, two experts, Mesara. Kind i
. Van Horn, being dispatched to the
UNDERMINING THE LANDSCAPE
WITH ELECTRICAL COAL-DIG?
it seem.?? thai tb?' city of Btaunton i-* i"
a limestone region, in fs t. .1 bed of lime?
?done iifte?*n hundred i? I ill k underlies
th.- town. As in other limestone districts.
there are subterranean streams, one of
which had excavated a large c.iv.tn di?
rectly beneath tin? place WbSTC the cave
Ins occurred. Th?- eavi rn grew in rise
until tin* roof became too weak t.? hold
its.-lf up any longer, and then it I'.-ll In
in the limestone region ?>!' Kentucky
there Bra hundrdQs <>f imderground
Channels marked by case mouths and ?Ink
bolea Moi?' than live hundred enwrna
of vaiiOUS alzes are known In tline ? 'nun
tics In the vicinity of the great Mammoth
Cava ??ver cotiMl.hralile areas of Indiana
likewise more than ulnc-tcntbs of the rain?
fall la carried off by :u.h streams, which
collect tho surface waters largely through
hopper-shaped dspraSSlCOB, called sinks or
often tho outlet of a sinkhole, oOttUeCt?
Ing It with the utreum below, le choked by
plug and the alnk ???comes first a pond
or Bmall lake, then a marah, and later on,
when tilled In with silt, dry land. This.
in fact, la what happened at Stuunton. Hut
the cavern below remained, with the atream,
ulnco located by borlngB for a considera?
ble distance, running through It.
What finally happcm*d to bring about
the catastrophe (according to the report
j?!_,__? t,?- -?i.. Jwi.a.-; y..?* 4?.??i?-!iMtMe. For*
it appears that the trouble was du?? to a
man name?! Smith, who established an lee
making plant about ah. ! fifty
foot fr.irn th ? Una of the subsequent cave
Ins. Driving a wall to the depth of eight
hundred feet, ho lnstalle.La powerful ma?
chine and bogan pumplngf water Just five
days before the cave-Ins began.
The cavern had been Ailed with water,
which helped to uphold its roof. Rut when
the water was remove?, by pumping for
the ice plant the roof could no longer sus?
tain itself and fell through in spots.
Kate Carew Talks
With Mr. Waldo
(?mtlnued from third page.
of burglarizing premises, in the Brat In?
with a reviver In hi i :. In
the flrs! t i uj_ guilty
.and paroled. In the thir.i .a-.- i.e Wat _cn
' i-i the ffo'i?.' of 10:
' 'ru- man who was convicted of ?1 mo. t
revolting murder, after tt lapso of twenty
months, was not
.\ man who for Ibty enterad tl ?
occupied by an aged broker ami ?
? ' ? ? ? ? t i twei
".. '?it- at? d a mar. a! I
? Iving away with a horse an :
which dal not belong to him. The police?
man was obliged t?> Mi . th<i
sir i ? ? ild make the fugitive ?
11?? charged him with grand larceny The
trat? directed that tho ? liai ire n?
changed to one of dlaorderl i a_n<i
fined the m
in one Instance a magistrate
..round that th l
had been obtained by a pollcemi n who
wln?i>. ? ?
In a: <
and other gambling apparatus have been
? ? 1
turn of the | the
last eight paragraphs a tsfl
from th? annual report, ei
Ml, m Police Commissioner Waldo's &?_*??
f tho In?
terrogai i le to htm.
We shook hands.
?. " ' ? larew," aal
Just a i cor Hall had wale? mod ma
A little more, perhaps.
! w? r If th ? ? i due to the charm of
my manner or If he was simply speeding
I h iva mv own I
day" to thi ? levator
who w is
just .i-? U wt.cn I came in.
Saluted the White Boul Wared ? gaT
challenge t?i the atone liona Think of any
? it'.g afraid of them!
Mr, ' Waldo certainly Wn?*
a lot of to tho F F*f
haps he gives ti i
- tt he
! several fine opportunities Those
ins aboul the stone throwing t* i
the polltl? il ' ?vllty
of Women on tl Why, ha ?
talked for hours and told ma no end
Incidentally, I ?.?.?marked to him. Just be?
fore he sai 1 "di i ?
''Yii;i have given pas a charming inter?
vl.-w. Mr Waldo
And he aald now what do !o:i think he
said' Ou? ' Th it l sraa a?
Good Listener. l?u >uu agree with him?
Mrs. Hamilton Fish Webster at a lunch
eon In New] i I ? ? young girl who
had nist ret? mod from Paris:
"She studied, you know, under IX?
They tell s story about hat.
"One afternoon in prOSOnCS of the wholS
class BhS sang an alia of l'uci'inls. All the
while she was singing the msestro walked
up and down muttering 'Mon '
?Peste!' and su * Ilk? ***? v*-'neB
she Bnlshsd svorybody looked at Ma **'
pectantly, snxlous to heat ths Saal nos*
?M. de RooskS strode op to the girl, laid
his ban?! on her shoulder in a _entle.
fatherly way and deliver.-?! his verdict IB
"Ma chere,' he sal?l. 'marry soon.
? ;.by.' "
Mr. 0 H. I*. Kelmont, at a tea at th?
Colon? Club, in N-vv York, said with 9
? l have no vote, but my groom has.
She smiled bitterly and added)
"I admlrs my groom for his proficiency,
but In. -luite sure that If I went to htm
next .November and said, Well. James, are
you going t.. exercise the franchiser he
would touch his rosy forehead vUb MS
fording? r and respectfully reply:
" 'TI.-ase, madam, which horse 1? thatr
George Ade, with a touch of pessimist*
aa to matrimony, aald at a recent wedding
breakfast in Chicago:
? To me wedding music alwaye auggas*^
the music of aoldlera going hopefully ****
bravely into battle*** ? - ? *-***+*,