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Illinois Digital Archives

About this collection

Collection provided by: Coal City Public Library

 

Strip mining was a major source of employment and very important to the Wilmington Coal Field towns of Coal City, Braidwood, and Wilmington during the 1930's through the 1950's. The Wilmington Coal Field is located sixty miles south of Chicago. The growth of the city and its need for energy prompted the search for coal in this area. In the late 1800's and very early 1900's many of the small villages in the area were built. Due to the proximity of coal to the ground surface, shaft mining was dangerous and expensive. Strip mining was first introduced in the Danville, Illinois area in the mid 1800's and it was tried in the early 1900's in the Wilmington Coal Fields but it wasn't until the end of the 1920's that strip mining became commercially successful in this area.

 

This collection includes information on the mining process, how strip mining affected the communities and how they have recovered and continue to progress today. For more information about this project visit this link at the Coal City Public Library site.

 
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