HOCKING COALFIELD

This is sometimes called the Hocking Valley Coalfield. Its coal mining boom was from approximately 1880 until 1920. During this time it was one of the most important coalfields in Northern Appalachia. Not only was the field served by the B&O Railroad and the Hocking Valley Railway (the C&O Railway after 1930), but some coal was probably shipped out on the Hocking Canal.



The main coal seam mined in the Hocking Coalfield was the Middle Kittanning (called No. 6 coal in Ohio), which was at least 60" thick in this area, but flared out to even greater thicknesses in some places. Usually not all of the seam was economically minable, as is shown in the following cross section:



Postcard captioned, "NIGHT SCENE OF THE WORLD'S GREATEST MINE FIRE, NEW STRAITSVILLE, OHIO." Well, in the 21st Century the "World's Greatest Mine Fire" may now be Centralia, PA. But the New Straitsville fire is allegedly still burning, too. It was started in 1884 when coal miners on strike against the New Straitsville Mining Co. swiped a few loaded underground coal cars, soaked them in oil, and pushed them through the mine portal and down into the mine. In the 1940 publication "Ohio: A Guide to the Buckeye State" the area near the fire is described as "slowly toasting earth where cisterns steam and dry up, where potoatoes are dug pre- cooked, where an $80,000 school building is overheated when the furnace is turned off." (image courtesy of others)


Coal camp housing in Glouster, Ohio. (Oct. 2004 image by author)


Coal miners and their coal mining machine at Glouster many years ago. (Image courtesy of others)


Old train station at Murray City. (May 2005 image by author)


Classic coal company town of San Toy, Ohio. According to the Ohio Mine Inspector's 1908 report The New England Coal Co. operated two mines here. Yet later accounts attribute ownership of San Toy to the Sunday Creek Coal Co. Like nearby New Straitsville, angry miners on strike set the No. 1 mine (and parts of the company town) on fire in 1924. After this the coal company closed the mine, but kept the No. 2 mine open for three more years. In 1927, at the end of the Hocking Coalfield boom, the company turned its back on San Toy, and before long it was deserted. (Image courtesy of others)


Photo showing one of the last families moving out of the mostly abandoned San Toy coal camp. (Image courtesy "The Little Cities Archive")


This building was once the coal company store at Chauncey, Ohio. (Image by others)


Remaining coal company houses at Chauncey. (Image by others)


Coal mine at Murray City gets a new fan. (from a 1924 Jeffery manual)


The only remaining house from the company town of Jobs, OH. (May 2005 image by author)


The slate roofs of the company built houses in Eclipse, OH, constructed by the Hocking Valley Coal Company. Their No. 4 mine was at Eclipse. Now the town has been granted a new lease on life as a tourist stop along the Hocking-Adena bike trail. (May 2005 image by author)


The company store at Eclipse, OH. This structure has been completely restored since this photo was taken. (May 2005 image by author)


These are the ruins of the collapsed tipple at Millfield, OH, which was still standing as late as the 1970s. It was here that the Sunday Creek Coal Company opened their No. 6 mine. In 1930 it blew up, resulting in the death of 82 employees of the coal company, making it the deadliest coal mining disaster in Ohio's history. (May 2005 image by author)


In addition to a historical marker beside the road, there are some ruins of the Sunday Creek No. 6 mine still in existence today. The tall smokestack was originally part of the powerhouse. (May 2005 image by author)


Detail of the small building next to the smokestack. This may have been the mine office or lamp house. There is also a red brick building nearby that is in shambles, as well. (May 2005 image by author)


Former coal miners' housing in Millfield, OH. (May 2005 image by author)


Nicely preserved church at Sugar Creek. (Image by others)


Pictured here is a historical marker about, and remnants preserved from, the unique brick and concrete Hisylvania coal tipple that used to exist near Glouster, OH and was demolished in 2001. (Image courtesy of The Historical Marker Database.)


The heyday of the Hocking Valley Coalfield was 1880 to 1920. The designs of that era are still evident on this store in Hemlock, OH. (May 2005 image by author)


One of the remaining coal camp houses at Congo, OH, where many of the coal miners were of Hungarian origin. (May 2005 image by author)


A coal camp outhouse still extant in Congo in 2005. (May 2005 image by author)


Haydenville was a company town with its own coal mine, of course, but it also had its own clay mine, block factory, and iron furnace. That's what makes the town unique. The enterprise, which began in the 1850s by the Haydenville Mining and Manufacturing Company, began to wind down in the 1950s, and the operation closed in 1964 and the homes were sold to the people. (May 2005 image by author)


Most, but not all, of the company housing in Haydenville was constructed using the company's own blocks. There are many different styles of housing there. (May 2005 image by author)


Near Morristown, OH there are the ruins of an old coal mine, identified for me as Sunday Creek Coal Company's Gem Mine. This building is at that site. It was perhaps a repair shop. (May 2005 image by author)


There are a few buildings related to the Gem Mine still at the site, in addition to a few gob piles. This building may have been the mine office. (May 2005 image by author)


The tipple at the Gem Mine site has been demolished, and we are left with these foundations. (May 2005 image by author)


Canaan Coal Company's colliery that once existed at Canaanville, Ohio. From what I can tell, the tipple is long gone, but some of the mine buildings still exist. (Image by others)



Canaanville coal camp houses along U.S. Route 50. (Image by others)


Former Canaan Coal Company store and offices. (Image by others)


Paper scrip to spend at the company store shown above. (Image by others)


Stockpiles at a 21st Century coal mining operation in northern Athens County. (Oct. 2004 image by author)


EASTERN OHIO COALFIELDS

APPALACHIAN COALFIELDS HOME