Mining in the Coal City Quadrangle
The Colchester Coal was mined in this area. The seam was generally around 3 feet thick and between 50 and 200 feet deep. Rolls were common and some faults and slips were seen. The coal had a moderate sulfur content and low ash.
According to Pete Kodat, author of Goose Lake Township Centennial September, 1897 - September, 1997, Peter Lamsett discovered coal in the 1820's along Mazon River in Goose Lake Township in the form of outcrops. He sold it to local farmers and blacksmiths, but never made much of a profit because he was a nomad. By 1860, the Peart family was operating nine shafts on their farms which lay to the east and south of the pottery works. They were some of the first landowners in Goose Lake Township to mine coal to any extent. Other early mines were opened before 1870 along the Mazon River in 25 and 36-T33N-R7E, 1-T32N-R7E and 6-T32N-R8E. (Those locations were too vague to show on the accompanying map.) The Herald Mine was opened in the late 1860s in 1-T32N-R7E near the owner’s house, and was probably quite small as it was for personal use.
Coal City is in the heart of the old longwall district. The old method of longwall mining develops a rosette pattern on a mine map, removing all the coal and piling gob behind to support the roof. In such thin seams, some roof and/or floor had to be removed to allow a height for the mules to pull the coal cars. This method was expensive, hauling cars of material that could not be sold. It was feasible in this district because the large Chicago market was so close. However, the large surface gob piles became an environmental problem later, and extensive reclamation was required. Surface mining was also successful in this area with the development of large shovels and draglines to remove the overburden.
Diamond No. 2 Mine (mine index 2342) on this quadrangle was the site of one of Illinois’ earliest mining disasters, where 69 men drowned in February 1883. The surface topography is flat. When heavy rains melted snow, the countryside was flooded to depths of 1 to 3 feet. Water broke into the old works in the eastern part of the mine. The main shaft was east of the escape shaft, and was soon inaccessible. The roadway to the escape shaft had a 15-yard-long dip and the last men out by this route had to swim. When that passageway filled with water, there was no escape from the mine.
Map and Directory PDF Download
Mines that Appear on the Coal City Quadrangle
Pages in category "Coal City Quadrangle"
The following 57 pages are in this category, out of 57 total.