Mining in the Niantic Quadrangle
The Springfield Coal was mined in Niantic, and it exhibited the characteristics typical of the Springfield Coal characteristics – namely, numerous horsebacks and high sulfur content. From the ISGS mine notes, “The clay veins are very plentiful in this mine and the cost of mining is so greatly increased that the mine is losing out in competition. Mining generally costs 11 to 22 cents [per ton]. One horseback made the coal cost $4 per ton.” In addition, the operators had to contend with thick underclay that tended to heave. The miners went out on strike in 1899, insisting on the mine becoming a union mine with the attendant conditions. The company disagreed, stating that it would be impossible to continue operating the mine in the union’s more expensive manner. After the mine was idled 9 months by the strike, the mine re-opened with machines, having installed electricity in the interim. The mine survived to operate for a total of about 40 years, a notable accomplishment when competing with the large mines in Decatur and Springfield, the principal local markets.
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Mines that Appear on the Niantic Quadrangle
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