Chuck Mack: A historical look at coal mines

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— Searching for articles on coal mines, I came across these two interesting articles concerning a coal mine proposition that was to be almost on the outskirts of the town of Craig.

Liberty Fuel Company - April 7, 1920.

Coal Mine to Be Developed Near Craig.

D. E. Evans and George A. Levy Are the Promoters.

D. E. Evans has finished the preliminaries which will result in the opening of a coal mine on the southwest limits of Craig and bring the expenditure of a quarter million dollars to this section in the coming year, says the Craig Empire. Mr. Evans has secured options on Mrs. Charles Morrison and M. H. Murphy ranches, a total of 480 acres, for a big coal company headed by George A. Levy of Denver.

"Mr. Levy knows that this deal means the expenditure of $250,000 at once and he has told me to go ahead. We plan to sink a 500 foot shaft on the Morrison property, just at the end of the Moffat road Y. Development work will begin just as soon as possible, as we want to have the mine a big producer by the time the proposed Salt Lake and Denver railroad is built to the west, thus giving us an outlet for our coal," Mr. Evans stated.

"There will be no camp built at the mine," Mr. Evans continued. "The workers will be encouraged to make their homes and acquire property in Craig. I predict that there will be a $50,000 per month payroll at the mine within a very short time."

George A. Levy, who heads a company which will develop the property is president of the Liberty Fuel Company of Denver. He was chief of the Industrial Bureau of the city of Denver under former Mayor, Robert E. Speer. And before that held a similar position with the city of Pittsburgh. Mr. Levy and Mr. Evans opened the Municipal Coal mine in Boulder County for Denver some years ago.

Liberty Fuel Company - June 2. 1920.

840 acres of coal land, almost within the city limits of Craig, was purchased last week by George A. Levy, president of the Liberty Fuel Company of Denver. "Mr. Levy plans to open and develop a mine from 1000 to 1500 tons daily capacity," says the Craig Empire.

Mr. Levy has been in Craig for the past two days, the guest of David E. Evans, who was instrumental in interesting the coal man in this field. The lands purchased by Mr. Levy are: Mrs. Cora Morrison, 160 acres; M. H. Murphy, 120 acres; Frank Murphy, 80 acres; E. S. Teagarden, 240 acres; John Mack, 240 acres. The purchase includes the coal rights only, the owners retaining the surface rights.

These lands contain the Mesa Verde series, commonly known as the old Ratcliff veins of coal. This coal is a hard, bright, bituminous coal of high quality and is considered the peer of all coal in Routt or Moffat Counties. It is estimated that there is more than 400,000,000 tons of recoverable high-grade bituminous coal under these lands.

Mr. Levy states that it is his intention to develop as soon as practicable a modern mine of from 1000 to 1500 tons daily capacity. Tentative estimates on the cost of sinking a shaft large enough to take care of this tonnage, necessary machinery and other equipment are placed at between $200,000 and $250,000. The shaft and tipple will be of fireproof steel and concrete construction. The Liberty Fuel Company of Denver will be the principal distributor of this coal.

The present plans are to sink the shaft on the Mrs. Cora Morrison property, directly south of town and on a line with the extension of Yampa Avenue. Arrangements have already been made for the sinking of a test well to determine the depth of the coal and the overlying strata. This test hole will be sunk by Warren Heagarden of Boulder.

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