This is a generally exhausted coalfield in Jackson and Vinton Counties. After a modest beginning circa 1800 - 1820, the coalfield enjoyed a heyday from roughly 1875 to 1925, although minor surface mines still pop up every now and then. Most coal was produced from the No. 2 Quakerstown coal seam, but all of the seams numbered 1 through 7 have been mined to one degree or another. All three types of coal mining - shaft, slope, and drift - have taken place in the Jackson Coalfield. And, although there is next to no coal mining anymore, there is still the annual Wellston Coal Festival.


The Comet Coal Co. opened the Comet No. 1 mine in 1881. (From "History of Industry in Jackson County" via JCOGS publications)

An underground coal car in front of the restored rail depot in Wellston. (Oct. 2004 image by author)

The former store of the Wellston Coal Company (Public domain image by HAER [Historical American Engineering Record])

Coal company houses in Wellston probably built by the Fluhart Coal Mining Co. (2017 image by author)

More coal camp houses that housed the miners of Fluhart Coal Mining Co. Shaft No. 1. (2017 image by author)

I believe that this was the stack from the mine furnace of Wellston Coal Co. No. 1. Before the widespread use of huge fans to ventilate underground coal mines a furnace would move air through the mine by heating it. (2017 image by author)

For illustration purposes, here is a ventilating furnace at a coal mine of unknown location. (Circa 1938 American Mining Congress image)

Former location of the Milton Coal Company's No. 1 shaft in Wellston. The same company had a No. 2 shaft nearby, too. (2017 image by author)

Probably an original coal miner's house near Jonestown, Ohio. The structure still sports board and batten siding. (2016 image by author)

The names on these headstones at the Coalton cemetery are fine English, Scottish, and Irish names, suggesting that Eastern and Southern European immigration to the Jackson Coalfield was minimal. (Oct. 2004 image by author)

The company store in Coalton, Ohio as it looked in 1880. (Image from a great book titled "History of the Coal-Mining Industry in Ohio" by Douglas L. Crowell)

The company store in Coalton, Ohio as it looked in 2016. (2016 image by author)

Remaining coal company houses in Coalton. (2016 image by author)

The only remaining gob pile I saw in the Jackson area. It was possibly from the Chapman Coal Company's Grace Mine. (2016 image by author)

The former Dayton, Toledo, & Ironton Railroad. (2016 image by author)

These coke ovens in Vinton County are believed to be the only ones of their type remaining in the world. These "Belgium Coke Ovens" were constructed of a brick that was designed and manufactured in Belgium and shipped to the Jackson Coalfield of Ohio. Their operation was to support the Vinton Iron Furnace, but the high sulfer coal of the area did not produce a satisfactory coke, and the ovens were abandoned.(Image courtesy of J.Markiel @ www.oldindustry.org)