SUPERIOR - MAITLAND

Superior and Maitland kind of run together, and I'm not exactly sure where one ends and the other begins. Koppers Coal Co. ran the Maitland mines in the 1930's and 1940's. When Eastern Gas & Fuel Associates took over the Koppers coal mine empire (but not by products empire) in 1947, they became the new owners of Maitland, and operated the Maitland mines into the 1950's.

Coal mines and a company town were opened a few miles from Welch by the Lake Superior Coal Company circa 1913. In 1959 Lake Superior sold the Superior mines to Cannellton Coal Co. (later part of Cyprus-Amax), and they operated them for many more years. Later, Horizon Resources operated the Superior coal preparation plant until bankruptcy forced them to sell it to a local operator in 2004. Today most of the town is gone, but another company keeps the coal preparation plant active.


Here is the Maitland tipple as it looked in 1947, right after Eastern took over from Koppers. (Image courtesy of Walter Caldwell)


Street lights but no paved streets in Maitland in the 1940's. (Image courtesy of Walter Caldwell)


A contemporary scene at Superior finds a church and a few coal camp houses remaining, and rail cars filled with coal loaded at the Superior preparation plant. (March 2004 image by author)


The tipple at Superior is still the site of much activity. This steel tipple replaced the original one in 1947. Additions and upgrades were made in 1971. (November 2000 image by author)


As this photograph illustrates, the Superior Tipple is one of the last ones that loads coal from the bottom of the structure, as opposed to the more modern detached loadout. The preparation plant is also one of the last ones using Deister Tables. (2004 image by others)


By 2006 the prep plant had received new sheeting. (Dec. 2006 image by author)


(Dec. 2006 image by author)


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