Chuck Mack: Beginnings of schemes and dreams


— I've found numerous very early articles on the Mount Streeter mine.

This article contains details about the large vein of coal, and I can testify to the thickness of the vein of coal because I worked in that same vein of coal for 23 years in the Red Wing Mine, which was a neighboring mine to the Mount Streeter Mine.

The Red Wing Mine was under the control of the Colorado-Utah Coal Co., which is the same mining company that owned and operated the Harris Mine at Mount Harris. This company owned mines in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. Some of their holdings went under the name of ColoWyo Coal Co. and this was the name of the company operating the Red Wing Mine, but in all fairness, it was one and the same company.

So with this in mind, let's get on with that 1918 article.

World's Largest Coal Vein Found in Axial Basin

• Information from a Dec. 25, 1918 article in the Steamboat Pilot; compiled by Chuck Mack, Nov. 21, 2007.

Collom vein, opened by the Axial Basin Development Company, is 25 feet in thickness and covers an area of large extent.

The greatest coal mine in the world 30 miles from a railroad, and not much of a railroad at that, is the way the Craig-Empire describes the mine now owned and operated by the Axial Basin Development Co.

The vein in the mine, which formerly was known as the Collom mine, is 25 feet in thickness and covers an untold area. Not a single stick of timbering is used in it, the tunnel being driven through solid coal.

Plans have been completed for the building of a railroad from Axial to Craig, where it will join the Moffat or possibly extending so as to connect with the Union Pacific.

All that the miners have to do to secure the coal is to knock it off in blocks; there have been shots driven in every direction and always into coal and more coal. There is no water in the mine and no gas, making it an ideal place to work. The vein is horizontal, doing away with cages and buckets.

The Collom vein, which is on the ranch owned by Arthur Collom for many years, is but one of 23 veins on 440 acres owned now by the Axial Basin Development Co.

Most of the other veins have been prospected sufficiently for government geologists to base an estimate of the probable tonnage of the property. And they say it is safe to calculate there are at least 125 million tons of coal on this property alone. Although people have read large figures during the past couple of years, it still is hard to reckon coal in millions of tons.

This vast amount, mind you, is on one property comprising only 440 acres. The U.S. Geological Survey says that in this location, the Danforth Hills coalfields, there are 22,000 acres of coal lands yet to be developed. Assuming that the balance will come close to the known deposits of the Collom vein, there is sure some coal in that vicinity.

And the world is again clamoring for coal, as it did last winter. Mountains of coal lying here and people with ample means shivering only a few miles away - a sad state of affairs in a land noted for its foresight and progressive action.

M.T. Streeter, general manager of the Axial Basin Development Co., and L. H. Friend, company engineer, recently returned from Washington, D.C., where they laid the matter of a railroad before the Federal Railway Board. Their project is looked upon most favorably there, Judge Lovett, chairman of the board being well acquainted with the resources of Northwestern Colorado.

Only the beginning of the series

In my researching, I have found a lot of articles from different sources about M.T. Streeter, his dreams, his schemes and about Mount Streeter and its beginnings.

There are going to be a lot of stories in this series, and by golly, we will be reading a lot about the Mount Streeter Railroad, the Mount Streeter mine and the town of Mount Streeter itself.


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