Coal Mining III
Coal Mining and Collieries in and around Saint Clair - Part I
Coal Mining and Collieries in and around St. Clair - Part II
Saint Clair Coal History
This picture is one of the murals located inside "Clarian Restaurant" in Saint Clair. Past and older residents may remember this restaurant as "Becketts". All throughout the restaurant are murals depicting the time when coal was king. The murals were painted by local artist, David Naydock (His murals can be seen throughout the county). If you are looking for a nice place to dine while in Saint Clair, this is the place I would recommend.
These squibs were manufactured in Saint Clair at the Daddow & Beadle Squib factory on South Front Street. At one point 90% of the squibs used in the nation came from Saint Clair. Along with the squib factory, Daddow had a paper box factory originally at 43 N. 2nd St. and then moved to the corner of S. Mill and Russell Streets to make the boxes for the squibs.
Accidents in 1887
Apr. 11- Miss Minnie Keiter, St. Clair, was fatally injured; a friend, Miss Volista Shaul, who was visiting from Sharon Springs, Harry Short, of St. Clair, and Edwin Thompson, inside foreman at Chamberlain Colliery, opposite St. Clair Tunnel, St. Clair, were injured when the explosion occurred in mine as young women were being shown through by miners. Miss Annie Hiatt, who remained above ground escaped. Mine lamps ignited gas in mine. H. Short died Apr. 14th.
Old postcard showing miners inserting squibs in the coal
Script used in Company Store
The tall building at the Colliery is called a BREAKER. It is so named because in this building coal is broken into usable sizes. It is necessary to break the coal because it comes from the mine in uneven lumps, some of which are very large. A breaker is built near the mine shaft so that the small coal cars can be lifted directly from the bottom of the mine to the top of the breaker. Here the large pieces are broken, and as the coal travels downward it is sorted and sifted into its many grades. This is done in the modern breakers by machinery. The different kinds of coal are named according to the size of the lumps. Rice coal is the siftings, the very small pieces. Buckwheat coal is the next size. Then come in order, pea coal, chestnut coal, stove coal, egg coal, and grate coal. There is still a larger variety known as steamboat coal, but this is too large to be burned in an ordinary furnace. The sorting of these different kinds of coal is done by a system of screens which lie in tiers. Each succeeding screen projects farther out than the one next above it. The finest coal falls into the first row of bunkers, the next in order falls into the next row of bunkers, and so on. In this picture you will see the the railroad track connecting to the breaker. The coal falls into the railroad car from chutes leading from the breaker. The track leading to the Hooker Colliery crossed the Mill Creek, by what is now the Industrial Park, and over to Nichols Street on the WHITE BRIDGE. It went behind (east) Nichols Street following the "Little Wolf Creek" directly to the Hooker. The White Bridge was taken down in the early 1920's.
|Map showing the location of some of the major collieries that were in Saint Clair. The map also shows many of the "patches" located around St. Clair.|
Killed at Chamberlain Colliery
-April 11th -Several people were killed at an explosion at the Chamberlan Colliery, opposite the St. Clair Tunnel during a tour of the mine. Miss Minnie Keiter, home from school with several friends arranged a tour of the tunnel for her friends who were from out of the coal area. While the women were being shown through the mine a lamp ignited gas in the mine. Killed were: Miss Minnie Keitner, Miss Volista Shaul, Sinking Springs, and Edwin Thompson, inside foreman. Harry Short of Saint Clair died on April 14th.
|Map from 1875 showing all the mine shafts/tunnels running UNDER the town of Saint Clair. This is an early map, many more tunnels were dug throughout the years.|
Back to work after the Strike of 1949