The Sebewaing Michigan Coal Mines
The discovery of coal in Sebewaing was made by Russell Brothers; well diggers based in Unionville. By the early 1900’s Sebewaing had three coal mines in operation. The Whittier, Sebewaing Coal Company and the Saginaw Bay Coal Company collectively employed about 100 men. Coal was brought to the surface on small mule driven cars on wooden tracks.
Coal mining was successful for only a few years. It seems that initially, the coal was of high quality however as operations continued it seems that the extracted coal contained so much sulfur it was deemed too explosive to be used as a fuel. Thomas Whitter, a chemist from Saginaw inspected the coal vein and found it an excellent source of pyrite and comparable with the pyrite sources then being imported from Spain. Changes were made to the operation that expanded mining capacity to 400 tons per day. Pyrite ore is an excellent material in which to make sulfur.
The mines around Sebewaing were only two of eight coal mines located in the Saginaw Bay region. The coal strikes were usually recorded by those drilling exploratory wells looking for salt brine. The veins of coal were from 3 to six feet and the deepest was found at 350 feet.
Other Coal Mines
- Bay Coal Mining Company
- Saginaw Coal Company
- J. H. Somers Coal Company
- The Verne Mine
- Standard Mining Company
- Hampton Coal Mining Company
- Saginaw Valley Mining Co
Below is a sketch map of the location of the mines in and around Sebewaing.