Brailer Mining Company

The Brailer Mining Company, formerly the Georges Creek and Bald Knob Coal Company, operates the Bald Knob mines which are situated in a detached area of the " Big Vein " coal seam at the extreme northern end of the Georges Creek coal basin, 1.5 miles north of the town of Mount Savage. The mines were originally opened in 1903-4 by the Georges Creek and Bald Knob Coal Company and were operated for several years as shipping mines. During the period from 1906 to 1916 they were operated as local fuel mines, but resumed shipments in October, 1916, under the management of the Brailer Mining Company.

The Bald Knob mine (B-3; B, C-2, 3) consists of four double-drift openings into the " Big Vein " coal seam and one drift opening into the Redstone coal seam. The operations in the Redstone seam are not being worked at present. An average section of the " Big Vein " coal seam shows:

Shale roof inches
Bone 1/2
Coal 6
Bone 1/2
Coal 4
Black Jack 1
Coal 23
Slate 1 1/2
Coal 24

The old workings in the mine were developed on the Room and Pillar system while the new development has been by the Panel system. Both ventilation and drainage are by natural means. The secondary haulage is by 6 mules and 1 horse. The primary haulage, from the inside lye (600 feet from mouth of entry), out and along the outside tramroad (375 feet long) to head of plane is by a string team of 2 mules. Forty- seven 2-ton Belt mine cars (home made) with a tare weight of 1700 pounds are used. The gauge of the mine tracks is 42 inches. Thirty pound T-rails are used inside and 40-pound T-rails along outside tram- road. The coal is lowered in 5-car trips down an incline plane 4700 feet long (with a grade of 13 to 22 degrees) by means of a 75 h. p. double- cylinder Exeter steam hoist. Steam for this hoist is supplied by a 60 h. p. Erie City boiler. The mine cars, after being weighed on Fairbanks scales, are unloaded over an end dump at the tipple into railroad cars, loading same sidewise. The tipple is located at Mount Savage on a spur of the Cumberland and Pennsylvania Railroad, passing through the property of the Union Mining Company. During 1918 an average of 45 miners and 9 laborers were employed. The output for the year was 61,773 tons.

Brailer mine tram to Wellersburg.—This mine consists of three drift openings in a detached area at the extreme northern end of the Georges Creek coal basin. Two of these openings are in " Big Vein " coal and the third in the Redstone seam, 17 feet above, but the property has not been in operation for the past three years. A tram-road 1£ miles in length leads from the mine to an inclined plane 1800 feet long at the base of which is a substantial tipple on a spur of the Cumberland Basin Coal Company's railroad. The tipple is provided with a screen for the separation of the coal for smithing purposes. The company owns an 18-ton locomotive and 48 mining cars of two-ton capacity. The mine is naturally drained and ventilated.


Coal Companies 1905

Jerry Wiland, Supt. and Mine Foreman.

This operation is situated about two miles north of Mt. Savage, and is what was known as the Brailer property. It is the most northerly outcropping of the "Big Vein" and not as free from impurities as this famous coal further south.

There are three openings here, and the development work is among the best in the region. A tramroad about two miles in length is used to convey the coal in the mine cars to the head of the plane, by means of a locomotive. Thence the cars are lowered down the plane, about half a mile to the dump, which is across the State line in Pennsylvania, and there shipment is made via the "switchback" on the Wellersburg branch, to the Cumberland & Pennsylvania Railroad, back in the State.

Ventilation in this operation, by means of a furnace, gives entire satisfaction at present; the area opened is yet small. On a recent inspection the following ventilation pressure was found:

  Cubic feet air. Number Employees Air per man
  Where Meaaured.  
Intake to "first right," 5,280 25 211

All miners and laborers are supplied with this current.
Return to furnace, 6,360 cubic feet per minute.
Scales in good condition.
General conditions of roads and drainage, good.

Mine No. 2. Barrelville.

D. F. McMullen, Gen. Manager. James Barrett, Mining Supt.
Cumberland, Md. Frostburg, Md.

In September of 1904 the McMullen Bros., a new coal concern, shipped their first coal from an opening in the "Blubaugh" or "Brookville" seam of coal. At this point the "Blubaugh" coal seems better than at any other place yet developed. While the mine is not yet driven far enough in to secure the regular height of the coal, yet a high quality of output is being secured. With this, as in all other operations, particularly in the smaller veins, the great difficulty is to keep the coal clean; when some method is evolved for freeing low veins of impurities at less expense, the problem of mining the smaller seams will have been solved.

This company has an inclined plane about 1,900 feet long; a tramway about 2,000 feet long extends to the opening. As yet not enough men are employed to bring this mine under the provisions of the mining law. Shipments are made over the Cumberland & Pennsylvania Railroad.

Trimble Mine.
J. W. Stevens, Mine Foreman.

This company's Trimble mine is situated between Morantown and Mt. Savage, at the extreme eastern point where the "Big Vein" exists. This mine has been embarrassed by "faults" or disturbances, being on the edge of the coal stratum, where the work of ages seems incomplete. It is the "tail-out" of the Big Vein. Partly on account of this fact, ventilation has been generally very poor. Hardly ever are men enough employed to bring the mine under the provisions of the mining law. At my last visit this mine was much better ventilated, an air shaft having been sunk. Shipments are made over the C. & P. R. R., with an incline plane, and tramroads leading to the three different openings of the mine. NEW YORK MINING COMPANY.

Union Mine
No. 2.
Henry Shriver, Superintendent. John Sullivan, Mine Foreman.

Union Mine No. 2, of the New York Mining Company, is one of the "big mines" of the region, employing about 450 men, miners and laborers. It occupies nearly the extreme eastern outcrop of the Big Vein. The mine is a drift, operated on the double entry system, varied in places where very heavy faults have been encountered, the rock at times cutting out the coal entirely. This rock, which lies in the center of the coal stratum, is peculiar to the upper end or eastern portion of the Georges Creek field, and seems to thicken and the coal become thinner as the outcrop is neared. Mining is frequently highly dangerous, because of the great height—often 12 to 14 feet; and only by the greatest care on the miners' part, and constant attention and watchfulness from the mine foreman, are accidents kept at the low rate generally maintained.

Ventilation is furnished by two fans, to the right and left "ides of the mine. This peculiar method deserves particular description. There are two openings, one upon the right and one the left side of the mine. Beside these are two secondary openings, serving as "intakes" from the fans. The right "intake" conducts the ventilating current to the five right headings, of which Nos. 2, 3, 4, 5 and 9 are now being worked. The 9th and 10th being close to the surface, when pillaring began constantly caved clear through to the surface, making plenty of outlets and insuring a good supply of fresh air at all times. Coal of good quality occurs here beneath six feet of covering. The left side of the mine is much the same as the right, there being ten "lefts" off the main heading or haulage road. This'haulage road is driven clear through the mountain, and serves as an airshaft in the winter time. "Faults" are more frequent to the left side, coal is harder, and a greater amount of powder is used in blasting. The headings are longer—consequently harder to ventilate; but at no time have I found the air current below the law's requirements, except in one heading, the "fifth." That is a spur, extending much farther than it was thought any of the headings on the left would go

Union Mine No. 1.
Henry Shriver, Superintendent. James Aldon, Mine Foreman.

Union Mine No. 1 is at the bottom of the "Y," on the C. & P. R. R., in the Big Vein, in the workings formerly made by the "New Hope" mine, a short distance from Frostburg.

Scarcely anything is working now, except drawing of "pillars." More abandoned workings surround this mine, perhaps, than any other in the region. On my first and second visits I found "black damp," or carbonic acid gas in large quantities, particularly in That is known as the "Top of the Plane." Many days the miners were forced to go home, and when they did work, it was with great prejudice to their health. The management went to work on the matter, and on my next visit a gratifying improvement appeared in the ventilation. At no time since have I found cause for complaint. At this mine, as in many others, the constant failure of drivers and miners to close check-doors they have passed through, affects the ventilation, while throwing themselves liable to arrest, whenever evidence to convict them is obtainable.

About 241 miners and laborers are employed, part of the men working at night.

This is a report of ventilation in the mine:

Where Measured. Cubic feet air. Number Employees. Air
  per man.
  10800 27 400
Intake to 1st cross . ... 7,980 18 443
Intake to top of plane 9,350 21 445
Intake from fan 29,160 117 249
Outlet of No. 1 slant 84,200 8 525
No air reading in "short heading;" ventila- tion good, but not confined enough to 9840 10 984
No air reading in 1st right; ventilation good, but not confined enough to measure   18  

This mine has been forced to reduce its number of miners during the year, because of a scarcity of working places; but this may be only for a time, until they have more room.