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Worcester Coal Mine, Worcester, Worcester Co., Massachusetts, USA

Prior to 1820, graphite was mined here, ground in West Millbury and used to coat the bottom of vessels. (Rice, 1889)

Nutt (1919) recounted the subsequent mining history of the locality: "The anthracite coal deposits near the junction of Lincoln and Plantation streets now known as the Old Coal Mine were put to use in 1823 and at first the Worcester coal seemed better than Lehigh. In 1824 an attempt was made to form the Massachusetts Coal Company. Mining went on and the coal was used in the Worcester Brewery of Trumbull & Ward and in Burbank's paper mill. Coal from the land of William E Green was burned in the brewery in 1827. By November 1828, a shaft twelve feet wide, eight feet high had been carried into the hill about sixty feet and a railway laid to transport the coal. In February 1829, the Worcester Coal Company was incorporated, and in March of the same year the Worcester Railway Company with a capital of $50,000 to build a railway from the mine to the Lake and Blackstone Canal. But soon afterward the whole enterprise was abandoned.

There was another attempt to work the coal mine in 1897. Silas E Harthan was employed by some capitalists to reopen the mine after it had been abandoned for seventy years. He found it forty feet deep and full of water. He pumped out 200,000 gallons and took out about twenty tons of coal. He burned some of the coal in his own furnace. It was found to be mixed with graphite and other impurities, and the conclusion was reached that the mine could not be operated profitably on account of the inferior quality of the coal."

Mineral List


2 entries listed. 2 valid minerals.

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Rice, Franklin Pierce (1889). Dictionary of Worcester and Its Vicinity, p. 18

Nutt, Charles (1919). History of Worcester and Its People, Volume 2, p. 1079.

Grew, Edward S.; Mamay, Sergius H.; Barghoorn, Elso S. (1970). Age of plant fossils from the Worcester coal mine, Worcester, Massachusetts, American Journal of Science 268(2):113-126.

Southwick, Albert B. (2011). "When coal was briefly king" Worcester Telegram & Gazette, July 21, 2011.

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