Saginaw Valley Coal
Coal was first mined in Michigan in the 1830s in Jackson County, and that area led in production through the 1880s. In the next decade dozens of mines were opened in Bay, Saginaw and Shiawassee counties, producing thousands of tons of coal annually. The hamlet of St. Charles, in the center of the new coal field, expanded rapidly, "touched by the magic hand of good luck," More than 1,000 people were here by 1900, and the State Coal Mine Inspector maintained his office here for years. After World War I a series of labor strikes and diminishing returns from the mines led to a decline in the state's coal production. The Swan Creek mine, the last producing coal mine in Michigan, closed in 1952.