Coal Mining in Jefferson County By Daniel Kalgren
In Jefferson County one of the major industries form 1886 to 1961 was coal mining. Jefferson County in that period of time never failed to produce at least 1,000,000 tons of coal. Most of it was bituminous or soft coal. Out of all of the local coal mined in Jefferson County 78.5 percent of it was strip-mined coal. When coal mining started in the county, the miners used picks and shovels to break up the coal after they used dynamite to loosen it.
Most of the coal brought out was thought of as worthless because of the work that went into getting it out of the ground. But as mining techniques improved, the cost of removing coal went down.
After 1975, coal mining in Jefferson County slowly died down and major companies only produced about 33,000 tons of coal. The highest amount of coal mined was in 1903 when 7,123,118 tons of coal were removed from Jefferson County. The original coal deposit in the county is estimated to have been 3,334,900,000 tons of bituminous coal. About 2,062,561,000 tons were mined and recovered.
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