Posts Tagged ‘Coal Mining’

BerwindJail

Jail at the abandoned coal town of Berwind, Colorado

Colorado mining history is usually thought of in terms of gold and silver, but coal mining in the state also dates back to the earliest days of the state’s existence. Coal was found in large seams along the foothills shortly after John Gregory, the Russell brothers, and George Jackson made their more famous gold strikes in 1859.

Coal isn’t glamorous, or precious- It’s dirty, it smells, and those who toiled underground to extract it were faced with the grim aspect of underground fires and explosions and pockets of poison gas which could extinguish life in the blink of an eye. The future wasn’t much brighter for those who were lucky enough to avoid disasters, as inhaling the powder fine dust of the mines resulted in “black lung” and various cancers which cut many a life short.

But coal was vital to the industrialization of America and the westward expansion- Coal was used to fire the furnaces that smelted the gold, silver, and copper ore mined in the mountains. Coal fueled the giant boilers of the steam railroad engines that connected the United States, transporting people, goods, animals, and armies across the continent. And, for many miners who failed to find riches in the gold mines, there was always plenty of demand for coal miners.

Traveling south along Interstate 25 in Colorado, just as you cross the Arkansas River and leave the city limits of Pueblo you enter the heart of Colorado’s coal country. A quick side trip down nearly any of the many exits along this southern stretch of I-25 will lead you to sandstone and concrete ruins- The final reminders of the many small coal towns which once dotted the foothills in the late-1800s through through the 1950s- Places like Lester, Rugby, Tioga, Tobasco, Ludlow, Pryor, Valdez and Berwind.

Here is a collection of random images of these fading faces of Colorado’s coal industry:

(Click on image to make larger)

calumet

Berwindraton3pryor2

ber20

starkville2ludlow3ludlow9gordonleg20berwindbk3starkville3

segundo1t2

Engleville1

starkville4ber17

valdez1

LudlowSaloonRugbyStoreber15ber11

vigil1ber5

lester1ber10starkville1

rugbybk2

starkville5

eng14

ber2LudlowCoStoreber19t1

ludlow16valdez4

ludlow12

rugby1ludlow6vigil2

ber7pryor3eng8valdez3LudlowSchool2

ber12leg19 - Copyrugby3vigil3TobascoTiogaludlow4eng7

eng11

berwindbk1lester4lester3pryor1

eng3

ludlow9

IF YOU ENJOYED THESE PHOTOS PLEASE SHARE THIS LINK, Thanks!

FOR MORE ABANDONED COLORADO PHOTO BLOGS CHECK OUT THE LINKS BELOW

Thank You for Visiting!

 

25 Abandoned Buildings In Colorado You Must See Before They Are Gone

25 (More) Abandoned Buildings in Colorado You Must See Before They Are Gone

25 Forgotten Cemeteries and Burial Plots of Colorado

Autumn Colors in Colorado’s Ghost Towns

Abandoned Faces of Colorado’s San Luis Valley and Northern New Mexico.

“The Gray Ghosts of Colorado- Book I: The Copperheads” The True, Suppressed History of Colorado’s Secessionist Movement of 1860-1861, and the Coloradans Who Fought for the Confederacy During the Civil War $19.99

 

Advertisements