By the mid-19th century, coal was still a relatively new industry in Elk County, Pennsylvania. The public notice of a Sheriff's Sale for a property in nearby Fox Township owned by the "Toby Creek and Philadelphia Coal and Oil Company of Philadelphia" provides an example of the state of the technology in 1868.

. . . And also all the coal, iron and limestone in or under al that certain tract of land situate in Fox township, Elk county, Pennsylvania [metes and bounds]. . . containing fifty acres more or less, and the right to enter and upon said land to mine and carry away such coal, iron ore and limestone, and to cut and use such hemlock timber standing on said land as may be necessary for props. On which is erected one engine house with engine, boiler, pumps, railroad and all the machinery necessary for mining coal &c. The said engine house being a one story frame building about thirty-five feet high, the main building being about forty by fifty feet, with a wing or lintel on the east side of the same about twelve feet by twenty feet. [Elk County Advocate, November 1868]