Archive for October 8th, 2015


Around the world, every day, men routinely went deep into coal mines. Fifty years ago when most coal mining was done manually, underground mines accounted for ninety-six percent of the coal produced each year.  Thankfully, the methods for mining coal have undergone dramatic changes in the past twenty-five years, due to technological advances.

The little town I live in, Erie, Colorado, used to be a mining town.  The Briggs Mine was the first commercial coal mine in Weld County and the foundation for the city of Erie, Colorado, in 1871. It was that same year the Union Pacific Railroad constructed a spur off of the main line from Brighton and Denver and Cheyenne. The spur was named the Boulder County Railroad and it delivered coal from Erie mines to rail markets in Denver and Kansas City. Many small towns got their start from the coal industry.

Before I lived in Erie, I lived in nearby Louisville. The entire area is a web of underground tunnels that was used to mine precious coal. The only evidence of mining left in Louisville is the downtown museum and the coal car exhibited on a street corner.




Changing our focus to northwest Canada, where the town of Springhill, Nova Scotia discovered massive quantities of coal in the 1830’s.  Springhill quickly became one of the largest producers of coal in Canada. This town suffered tragedies in 1891, 1956 and 1958. They lost 75 men in the last underground earthquake. For an interesting tour of a coal mine and some education on the tragic history of mining in Canada, visit the Springhill Miners Museum.

Click here for more about the mine disasters in Springhill, Nova Scotia.

Click here for information on mine tours in Springhill, Nova Scotia.

Click here for my website.



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