Black Diamond Mine
Black Diamond Community
Blue Bell Mine
Stories of Guernsey County by Wm. Wolfe Page 1006
Other Villages—Derwent, another unincorporated village, was platted by Eliza Dickerson on August 10, 1898. Blue Bell, which once has a post office, a railroad station, a store and several houses, is now but a community name. Opperman, platted by Thomas Moore and wife on August 28, 1903, is almost a lost town, too. While the mines there were being operated, it was a flourishing village with its railroad station, stores, school and homes, but nearly all have disappeared. Walhonding in the southeastern part of the township is composed almost entirely of foreigners. North Star near the Old Black Mine and Middletown on the Clay Pike, are mining communities.
Cambridge Collieries Mine #2
Trail Run, Robins, Ohio
The Cambridge Collieries Company
Tonnage Mined by the Company—Imagine two solid trains of cars, all loaded with coal, reaching from New York to San Francisco, and a third train reaching from New York to Chicago. The weight of the coal in there three trains will be 48,851,990 tons, the amount mined by the Cambridge Collieries Company since its organization twenty-nine years ago.
Chief Engineer W. N. Bomesberger, of the Cambridge Collieries Company, is authority for the statement that the total tonnage of the company to January 1, 1934, was 48,851,990. A little figuring enables us to construct the imaginary trains, as follows: An average coal car, together with the space between it and the next car in the train, will occupy forty feet of track. Dividing forty into 5,280, we have 132, the number of cars to the mile. Allowing 50 tons of coal to each loaded car, we find that a mile of them weighs 6,600 tons. Dividing this number into 48,851,990, we obtain a quotient of approximately 7, 400. This means that the coal production of the Cambridge Collieries Company, if loaded into cars of average capacity, would make a train 7,400 miles long.
Since there is no railroad track in the country long enough to accommodate such a train, we shall use two trains with their engines in San Francisco and their cabooses in New York. Then there will be enough cars left over to make up another train reaching from New York to Chicago.
This includes the entire production of the Cambridge Collieries Company, but the most of it was mined beneath the surface of Guernsey county. Other companies have operated here during the same time. We do not include the tonnage figures of the Akron, the National, the Morris, the Forsythe, the Somers, the Wills Creek and others that have mined enormous quantities of coal. It is safe to say that their combined productions would load several more trains that would reach across the continent.
Organization at First—What is now the Cambridge Collieries Company was originally the Wills creek Coal Company, which was organized about 1896, and of which B. F. Berry, of Detroit, was president. Before the change to the new company was made, two of its mines—the old Pioneer and the Central, both at Byesville—had been exhausted. The following, which were the property of the original company, come into the possession of the new when it was organized in 1905; Ideal, northeast of Byesville; Walhonding NO. 1, at Pleasant City; Detroit, near Ava; Blue Bell, at Opperman; and Midway, near Byesville.
The incorporators of the Cambridge Collieries Company were James W. Ellsworth, Hudson, Ohio; A. A. Augustus, Cleveland, Ohio; and the Canadian Pacific Railroad. The affairs of the company were directed by Ellsworth and Augustus until their deaths occurred, that of the former in 1925, the latter in 1927.
Abandoned and Active Mines—All the mines of the old Wills Creek Coal Company have been abandoned. Mines that the Cambridge Collieries Company purchased when the organization was effected, that have also been abandoned, are the Banner, near Pleasant City; the Hartford, near Buffalo; and Trail Run No. 1 and Trail Run No. 2, at Robins.
The Company is now (1934) operating five mines; Buffalo, in Valley township, north of Buffalo; Walhonding No. 2, in Valley township, southeast of Buffalo; Cleveland, at Senecaville; Caldwell, in Noble county; and Shadyside, in Belmont county. In the days of better economic conditions the Company operated as many as fifteen mines.
Present Officials.—The Cambridge collieries Company owns coal lands in Guernsey, Noble, Harrison, Jefferson, Muskingum and Perry counties. William Emery, Jr., Cleveland, Ohio, is the president; E. J. Hanglin, Cleveland, Ohio, secretary-treasurer; H. E. Cameron, general superintendent; Arthur Faught, assistant superintendent; W. N. Bomesberger, chief engineer; and Frank Leyshon, chief clerk. H. E. Cameron, W. N. Bomesberger and Frank Leyshon were connected with the old Wills Creek Coal Company and have served continuously with the Cambridge Collieries Company since its organization.
Goodyear Mine, sometimes called Klondyke NO.2
The Goodyear Mine, sometimes called Klondyke NO.2, was opened in 1916. It was worked until 1923, then closed because the demand for coal would not justify its continuance. However, the pumps have been kept constantly going and the mine will be repaired and reopened as soon as business conditions indicate a profitable operation. The company also owns the Moss Mine in Noble county, two miles south of Pleasant City, opened in 1920. It was closed in 1923 and is now filled with water. The company expects to resume work there as soon as economic conditions will justify.
Ideal and Walhonding Mines–From no other mine in Guernsey county ahs as much coal been taken as from the Ideal, whose total tonnage of production during the years of its operation was 6,976,073. By the same arithmetical process used at the beginning of this article, we find that this number of tons would load a train 1,000 miles long. All of this was lifted from a single shaft 75 feet deep. The vein of coal at Ideal was 5 feet 4 inches thick, and 1,222 acres of it were mined. The operations at Ideal extended north as far as the old Norris mine on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, one of the pioneer mines of Guernsey county. Nearly 400 men were regularly employed at ideal.
King’s Mine, two miles west of Lore City, was owned by the Morris Coal Company. A fire there in 1908 destroyed the tipple, all buildings and machinery. For seven years the mine was not operated and became filled with water. In 1915 it was leased by the Akron Coal Company, the tipple, buildings and machinery were replaced, and the water pumped form the mine. For this water to be removed several months were required. Mining operations were begun in 1916 and continued until 1927 when all the coal had been taken out.
Kings Mine Named for a Colored Man. —One Guernsey county colored man had a coal mine and a town named in his honr. Joe King, of Lore City, was employed by Madison D. and Alexander S. Robins in opening a mine in Center township. In driving an entry at the bottom of the shaft the workmen struck a “horseback” that appeared impenetrable. The Robins brothers considered the abandonment of the mine, but King insisted that they try to put the entry through. his arguments prevailed. The entry went through. Beyond the”horseback” was a fine vein of coal that made the mine one of the largest and best known in the county. Appreciation King’s judgment and efforts, the operators named the mine in his honor. A town afterwards platted near the mine was named Kingston.
Stories of Guernsey County by Wm. Wolfe Page 476-477
The Klondyke Mine.—As an additional field in which to operate, coal lands were purchased by the company in Center Township, and in 1897 a mine entered by a slope 165 feet long was opened on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, six miles east of Cambridge.
Several of the men employed at Trail Run were transferred to this mine. The rush to the Klondyke gold field in Alaska was begun in 1897 and there was much excitement throughout the country. Miners leaving Trail Run for the new coal mine being jokingly asked by those left behind if they were going to Klondyke, jokingly replied in the affirmative, and this name was given the mine.
In 1898 a town named Rigby was platted there. It grew so rapidly that, in a short time, a railroad station was established and application was made for a postoffice. The postal authorities would not accept Rigby as a name because there was another office having a similar name in Ohio; for the same reason they would not call it Klondyke. A committee appointed to choose a name submitted a list to the government authorities. It was composed of names of famous living men; as McKinley, Dewey and Gladstone. These were rejected by the post office department. Kipling was then suggested and accepted, this English author’s name being in the headlines of the papers at the time, due to his serious illness while visiting in this country.
The Klondyke mine was operated extensively until 1919, when the coal became exhausted. It had been worked as far west as the “horseback” that blocked the eastward progress of the Norris mine, opened in 1881.
Laura Mine, Coal Ridge, Ohio
Little Kate Mine
Little Kate #2, Black Diamond
Murry Hill Mine
Murry Hill #1
Stories of Guernsey County by Wm. Wolfe Page 477
Other Mines–Coal land in Center township, north of Klondyke, was optioned by the company in 1899, and in 1902 Murray Hill No. 1 was opened. This, like Klondyke, was entered by a slope 165 feet long. All available coal having been removed, the mine was abandoned in 1912. A few months later Murray Hill No. 2, which is now being operated, was opened a short distance north of the old mine.
A few members of the Akron Coal Company organized the Monarch Coal Company in 1900, and opened Black Top in Richland township, a shaft mine 100 feet deep. This was leased to the Somers Coal Company in 1901. In 1905 it became the property of the Morris Coal Company, in whose possession it remained until 1933, when it was leased by the Akron Coal Company, and is being operated at the present time.
Old Cleveland Mine
Opperman Mine #2
Pigeon Gap Mine
Stories of Guernsey County by Wm. Wolfe Page 478
Rigby mine is in Richland township, two miles north of Senecaville. It was opened in 1919 and is now being operated.
Present Officers.—The Akron Coal Company has holdings to the extent of several thousand acres of coal land in Guernsey, Tuscarawas and Harrison counties. William Rigby, Sr., is the only living charter member of the company that for a half century has operated extensively in the Cambridge coal field. Until 1918 Mr. Rigby was general manager, and since 1921 he has been the president of the Akron Coal Company. John Miles, of Akron, si the vice president and general manager; N. E. Thomas, of Akron, secretary; and John Rigby, of Cambridge, general superintendent. Heirs of the Moss and Loomis estates hold interests in the company.
Rigby Coal Miners
Front Row, l. to r., John Sherby, Oran “Newt” Tipton, Johnny Walton, John Curry, Orval “Bab” Tipton, Ted Clendenning; Back Row, Tony Dezri Beghen, Brownie Collins, John Hollingshead, Howard Price, Steve Kosteinik, Delmar Williams, Carl Tipton, Joe Burns, Charlie Friley, Taffy Ferguson, Steve Yonis and Johnnie Hilton.