Michigan's First Coal Mine

Registered Site L1470

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.
photo of Michigan

Side 2

The Corunna Coal Company opened here in 1873. It operated from the same coal vein that Alexander McArthur had mined in 1839. The Corunna Coal Company dug a seventy-five-foot mineshaft and brought in skilled miners from Youngstown, Ohio. They mined nearly one hundred tons of coal a day. In 1877, Tod Kincaid began managing the coal operations and purchased an interest in the mines. In July 1891, Kincaid bought out his partners and began running the business himself. The construction in 1885 of a spur track to the mine by the Detroit, Milwaukee and Western Railroad had opened more markets for Kincaid's coal. The Kincaid Mine closed in the early 1900s; however, the coal vein continued to be mined sporadically until after World War II.

Erected 1988

Location: M-21 east of State Rd
Caledonia Township, Shiawassee County

Business & Industry
World War II

Latitude: 42.9983700, Longitude: -84.1049122

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