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Thursday, August 25, 2011

What Was Taken Out of the Mines in Mineral Ridge?

“What was taken out of the mines in Mineral Ridge? Are any still there? When did they close?” The Newton Falls Public Library staff was not familiar with the information needed as our focus tends to be more on the history of Newton Falls and Newton Township, but we were more than willing to see if we could locate what she needed.

The Davis Genealogy’s section about William Edward Davies, hosted by Rootsweb, states that “. . . Mineral Ridge, Trumbull County, Ohio . . . was a center of coal and iron mining in the early nineteenth century.”  History of Trumbull and Mahoning Counties with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches (p.95) has many details about the Mineral Ridge coal and blackband iron belt, and how the deposits were formed.

The Columbus Dispatch article, Old coal mines are risk to homes in eastern Ohio  by Spencer Hunt, dates mining back to the mid-1800s. It addressed the problem of locating old mines, as many were small and undocumented; others were dug into by individuals during the Depression and were extended beyond their map boundaries.

The Abandoned Coal Mines Website, research by Ann Harris of Youngstown State University, lists 26 shaft and slope mines in Weathersfield Township. The last known date of a listed mine closing was 1899.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Mineral Resources Management has overseen the filling of the abandoned mines. According to the Youngstown Vindicator article, Area in Ridge will be tested for mine subsidence by ODNR by Mary Smith (10/6/2008); there is also the problem of determining the location of “peddler” mines, dug by individuals for the mining of coal for their own use or to sell.  

We gave our patron this information and also suggested that she contact the library located in Weathersfield Township, McKinley Memorial Library in Niles. 

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