Rend Lake Dam Quadrangle


Mining in the Rend Lake Dam Quadrangle

Methane gas seeping from the coal was a serious problem in Franklin County; 16 men were killed in explosions in the mines that operated in the Rend Lake Dam Quadrangle. Ventilation was good at the working faces, but gas would accumulate behind stoppings that shut off the abandoned areas of the mines, and the stoppings were not always airtight. Factors that contributed to the mines’ problems were open flames in miners lamps and coal dust that would promulgate the explosion throughout the mine. The open flames in the miners lamps were a known hazard, but the introduction of closed lamps caused serious labor antagonism, since the lamps only provided about 2 candlepower of illumination. The gradual development of 100-candlepower lamps eased acceptance of the battery-powered lights. Rock dusting required development also, although the process was known in 1917. Lime dust was often too coarse to apply effectively. Old Ben Coal Company worked aggressively to develop a shale dust and this was used from 1918 until 1928, when lime rock dust became available in paper bags.

The Herrin Coal was very thick in Franklin County, reaching a maximum thickness of 11.5 feet in the Rend Lake Dam Quadrangle, and was over 600 feet deep at most of the mines. Old Ben No. 14 (mine index 665) operated the longest of the mines in this quadrangle, running for 49 years.

Old Ben No. 14 (mine index 665) and Old Ben No. 24 (mine index 866) had several large faults passing through the workings. These faults are part of the Rend Lake Fault Zone, and had offsets up to 55 feet. For details on the Rend Lake Fault System, see ISGS Circular 513, noted in the Reference section on page 8 of this report.

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Coal Mines In Illinois Rend Lake Dam Quadrangle

Mines that Appear on the Rend Lake Dam Quadrangle

Unlocated Mines

Franklin County

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