History of Yellow Dog Mining Village

Located just under an hour north of Pittsburgh PA sits the abandoned yellow dog mining village. The homes at Yellow Dog Village were built in the 1910s and 1920s to house the workers at the nearby Pittsburgh Limestone Company, who mined the area for limestone. The village got it’s name “Yellow Dog” which was the name for a contract between a company and their workers, who made an agreement with their employer that they would not unionize.

This agreement came into being due to the distance the workers had to commute to get to the mine, and how rough the roads were at the time. The workers asked the company to build them housing closer to the mine. Seeing the benefit in increased production, the agreement was made that housing would be built in exchange for the workers to not unionize. Both sides held up their end of the bargain, and Yellow Dog Village was created.

The village thrived for many years, offering a safe environment for company employees to start, and raise a family. But eventually change would come. With the closing of the limestone mines in the 1950’s, it signaled the beginning of the end for the Yellow Dog Mining Village. The village manage to stay in use until the early 2000’s, when the housing bubble rang the final bell for Yellow Dog. Financial mishaps were made, and to try and recoup any money, the owner sold off anything of value from the empty homes, includes brass/copper fittings and piping, claw foot tubs, and anything else they could strip out of the homes.

Over the years, the village changed ownership several times, and names, including Shady Side Village, and MAK Square (when it was centered around mushroom farming).

The village sat abandoned from 2010 until about 2014, falling victim to years of neglect and vandalism. On top of previous owners stripping the homes of anything valuable, the homes were used as drug houses and for parties. Windows were broken, doors were smashed in, and the homes eventually became overgrown with weeds. Luckily, the one thing that didn’t happen was graffiti. 

Yellow Dog Mining Village Today

Into 2014, the abandoned Yellow Dog Mining Village was sold to a new owner named Joe. Joe has worked tirelessly to restore the homes, and the village to their original glory. He hopes to restore the historical appeal and charm, and offer a rustic getaway vacation option, where visitors can experience a lifestyle similar to what the original families enjoyed (along with a few modern conveniences added in).

Currently the village still includes about 19 homes featured in two separate rows. Tours are available, and is one of the main sources of income to help the owner with the restoration project.

For more information on the abandoned Yellow Dog Mining Village, and to set up your own photography tour, visit their website or their Facebook Page.

Yellow Dog Village Photo Gallery