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Old Coal Breaker in Schuylkill County Coming Down

MAHANOY TOWNSHIP —  An old coal breaker, the last one of its kind in Pennsylvania, is coming down. The St. Nicholas Breaker has not been used since the 60...

MAHANOY TOWNSHIP --  An old coal breaker, the last one of its kind in Pennsylvania, is coming down.

The St. Nicholas Breaker has not been used since the 60s. Now, it's owner is slowly dismantling it. The process that is expected to take months.

Since this is the last big breaker standing in the state, people from all over are coming to see it.

Gene Perkins is a third generation miner from Schuylkill County. He now works as a security guard at the last of the large, historic breakers standing in Pennsylvania.

"When you look at this what do you see? A lot of blood, sweat and tears," said Perkins.

When it opened in 1931, the St. Nicholas Breaker outside Mahanoy City was an automated marvel. It was said to be the largest of it's kind in the world.

"It is a marker to the past because it shows how important this area was, not just to the industrial revolution but the the development of the nation as a whole," said Tom Loftus of Pioneer Tunnel.

The St. Nicholas Breaker closed in the 60's and now its owner, the Reading Anthracite Company is taking it down. Even in its final days, the behemoth is attracting plenty of attention.

One couple, the Edwards' from Maryland, say they had to see the breaker before it was too late.

"It is amazing. I wish I could come back 40 years ago, when it was in operation, just to see it and hear it," said Richard Edwards.

The security guard adds since the breaker started making headlines again, the visitors keep coming and some of them don't follow the rules.

Perkins said, "We have people, sneak behind the fence and stuff, and they are not supposed to. It is posted, 'no trespassing.' We just wish people would respect that."

Perkins says he understands why people want to see history. However, he asks if you visit to stay safe and don't break the rules.

A manager at the facility says work started last fall and was scheduled to take a year.

However, there is still a lot left to do, so the demolition may take longer.

So, there is time to see this history for yourself.