BURNSIDE - The Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area (AOAA) has a new 7,000-pound showpiece.

A "mantrip," which carried guests of the former Glen Burn Mine Tour, was transported Wednesday from an isolated area of Big Mountain, west of the colliery, to the trailhead of the AOAA, off Route 125 south of Burnside. It was donated by the Helfrick family, previous owners of the colliery.

Dennis Moore, owner of Keystone Masonry, donated the use of a flatbed truck and an industrial-size forklift to move the 20-foot-long mantrip, which had been placed in the woods shortly after most of the colliery was demolished in the summer 1986. Moore said it took him and three employees about an hour to move it on the flatbed.

The mantrip is gritty-looking, to say the least. The wooden seats that carried 25 people have broken, the bright-yellow paint has been replaced by rust and the entire car is filled with nearly 30 years of dirt and debris.

Despite this, Moore said he is surprised at it's condition, noting the mine wheels spun when the car was lifted.

45-minute tour

The Glen Burn Mine Tour opened on June 22, 1968, after several months of planning by Lower Anthracite Regional Economic Development Organization (LAREDO), a non-profit corporation created in April 1967. More than 500 people visited the tour on the first weekend. Since the mine was still active, tours were held on weekends and holidays.

People traveled 12 minutes into the mine on several mantrips pulled by an "electric mull." Six guides led visitors through the mine. "Inside men" were Anthony Schetroma, Victor Karycki, John Hine and Mike Karpiak. "Outside men" were Robert Mack and Joseph Shovlin. The entire tour lasted approximately 45 minutes.

Tour, colliery close

On May 13, 1977, it was announced that the tour would not operate a tenth season in 1977. LAREDO said it could no longer afford to support the tour. Approximately $4,000 was needed for maintenance repair work, the rental charge expected by mine owners and breakdowns.

Operations at Glen Burn Colliery ceased at midnight, May 31, 1984, when 120 members of the United Mine Workers went on strike. Today, only a few pieces of the colliery remain.