2004 Mining History Association Field Trips

 

Knight Hawk Coal Company, Paum Mine, Alva, Illinois,
and Barge Loading Facility, Chester, Illinois
June 17, 2004

 

Bonne Terre Mine, and

Missouri Mines State Historic Site, Park Hills

June 18, 2004

 

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KNIGHT HAWK COAL COMPANY

(Above and right) The MHAers attend a safety briefing and hear a presentation of the mining operation before visiting the surface coal mine.

The Illinois Coal Basin underlies the central part of the state.  Surface mines operate around the western edge of the basin using large-scale strip mining equipment including draglines, power shovels, front-end loaders, and trucks.  Following mining, the land is reclaimed for agricultural and recreational uses.

Coal trucks from the mine dump coal into a hopper from which coal is conveyed to the river barges.

Coal barges are being loaded at the dock.  The Mississippi and Ohio Rivers provide a low cost means of transporting coal to power plants and other users throughout the river system.
 


(Left) The trip to the surface mine was not without incident.  The bus got mired in mud and had to be towed by a large Caterpillar loader.  This was a “first of its kind” event for an MHA field trip!

 

(Above)  As another bonus, the Train Spotters in the group got an excellent opportunity for a close-up view of another type of coal transportation.

BONNE TERRE MINE

 

(Above) Outdoor exhibits at the Bonne Terre Mine feature examples of the many types of equipment used underground in the Southeast Missouri lead mines.

 

(Right)  MHAers prepare to enter the Bonne Terre Mine by walking down a long staircase.  Once underground they have plenty of headroom in the vast open stopes where lead ore was mined for nearly a century.  The deeper parts of the mine are now flooded.  The underwater galleries are a popular destination for scuba divers.

 

MHAers stand in one of the open stopes.  Note the “cloud” of water vapor hanging in the air.

The Johnsson family poses next to one of the huge pillars of rock which support the mine roof.  The pillar is coated with flowstone.

An old mine car is dwarfed by the height of the back (roof) of the open stope.

The Federal No. 3 Mill (right) was the largest concentrator operated by the St. Joseph Lead Company in the Old Lead Belt.


Photo Credits: Johnny Johnsson and Mark Langenfeld

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