Michigan's First Coal Mine
Alexander McArthur of Corunna discovered coal on the banks of Coal Creek in 1839. It was part of a large vein that produced coal until after World War II. McArthur hauled his coal in wagons, selling it to blacksmiths for ten cents a bushel. In 1841 this was the only coal mine in the state where coal was excavated for commercial use. It was reported that from an eight-by-nine-foot area McArthur mined 460 bushels of coal and shale in one year. In the 1860s a group of New York investors purchased McArthur's mining interests and land and on April 22, 1865, opened the McArthur Mining Company. The firm bought a coal house and office, an engine room and tramways. But within a year, the company had disbanded because transportation costs made shipping the coal unprofitable.