WESTERN MARYLAND COALFIELDS

CASSLEMAN COALFIELD

GEORGES CREEK COALFIELD

LOWER YOUGHIOGHENY COALFIELD

UPPER POTOMAC COALFIELD

UPPER YOUGHIOGHENY COALFIELD

Coal was mined in Maryland in small drift or pit mines during the late 18th Century. By the 1830s large scale commercial mining of coal had begun in the Georges Creek Field, including construction of company-built mining camps decades before they became a fixture of other coalfields. Coal mining in Maryland reached its peak in the years around 1910. Deep mining declined and strip mining became more important in the years around World War II. There are still hundreds of millions of tons of coal remaining in Maryland.

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Thanks to Pat for emailing this in:

A Miner's Worth

The cold light of day or the glow of the moon

A change of season be it April or June

Thunder and lightening or blowing a gale

A flickering fireside relating a tale

Sunlight and starlight, a sunset's glow

Don't mean a lot when you're far below

The dark is forever far under the ground

Nature's lights will never be found

A mine is a mine wherever you are

In the homeland of England or distant and far

And miners are miners whatever their race

In the pit bottom or up at the face

The jobs are related the dangers alike

Just waiting for nature to take the strike

Women at home not knowing when

The mines would steal a husband from them

Languages alter but the toil's the same

Plenty of heartache and little fame

When miners are killed there's many a sigh

From government leaders sat up high

Ask for fair pay or threaten action

Against closures or other vindictive reactions

Watch now their faces full of disgust

Two faces of politics we have paid to trust

The true cost of coal, copper, lead, silver and gold

Has never been written, will never be told

Lives, bodies and hearts have all been broken

Not even listed or given a token

Taken for granted that fuel and glamour

Are presented to them without even a stammer

The sweat and the blood shed in lifting these things

Mean nothing but comfort and vane beauty gold brings

Did greed bring mining or mining the greed?

It did create miners as a different breed

Be they Polish or German or in colonial lands

Miners are brothers with one show of hands

Suffering the blows of politics and wealth

As well as nature with its cruel stealth

Seemingly devised to cause hardship and suffering

The miner between used as human buffering

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