View to the Past – March 9, 2016

Interurban at mine 1910s

This week’s view shows coal miners, lunch pail in hand, boarding the Interurban (electric streetcar) at St. Ellen mine in O’Fallon about 1910.  The streetcar stopped at the north end of what is now St. Ellen Mine Park.  St. Ellen was opened in 1903 by Joseph Taylor and was named after his mother.  It was the last operating coal mine in O’Fallon.  St. Ellen finally closed at midnight May 20, 1960 and, at the time, was believed to be the oldest rail mine in Illinois, employing about 360 miners.  During its years of operation, it covered 3,835 acres underground and produced nearly 22 million tons of coal.

(Contributed by Brian Keller, O’Fallon Historical Society)