Superior Coal Mine #2 Sawyerville Mt Olive Township Macoupin County IL
Superior Mine No 2
Sawyerville Mt Olive Township
Pictures - click
Building of Sawyerville Mine -(Clipping)
Daryl Butcher writes, "The colorized picture was taken looking more-or-less North.
Mine #5, the bootleg still, was located less than a mile NE of this location east of Rt 138 about half way between Sawyerville and Benld. It was east of the road a few hundred yards overlooking the Cahokia creek valley. According to the U of I (Springfield) Oral History accounts, the output was about 2,000 gallons a day. A recent story from an old-timer that had worked at the site claimed that the output was from two half-inch pipes that ran at full flow 24 hours a day ... which is a lot of booze ... nearly twice the output when cut to 100 proof. Look at it another way ... at 20 mpg in a car burning alcohol, the daily output would have been 40,000 miles."
Drawing of Mine Yard
"This image was painted on the side of the sand building at Superior Coal Co. Mine #2 at Sawyerville. It is an optical illusion if you stare at it for a while. The number was the one-day lift record for the mine. I remember the image very well because we would always make a detour to see it when we walked to the mine reservoir to swim. The natural drainage from the south side of Benld is into the reservoir so it also served as the "sewage lagoon" for Benld that had a large number of outdoor toilets at the time.
My dad's uncle was the top boss for #2 during the 40s/50s. He had the engine room all painted with different colors for each function and all the brass polished until it sparkled. It was a showplace. I recall my uncle holding me up so I could look through the open top of the "Dutch doors" on the engine room to watch the big two-cylinder engine hoist the coal. The engine turned a big drum with the mine cable wrapped around it. The cable played out from one end and was pulled on at the other so one "cage" raised at the same time the other lowered. A big "speedometer" (four feet in diameter) high on the wall next to the windows looking out at the tipple showed the location of the cages in the shaft. I also recall looking down the shaft with the wind blowing up the shaft (the mines were pressurized with a huge fan for ventilation purposes and the exit was up the shaft) while he kept me from making the big fall by holding onto the waist of my pants."
"The structure over the mine pit is called a "tipple". Two elevators (cages) rose and fell at the same time lifting out coal and delivering materials and men to and from the mine. About 2/3 of the way up the structure was a mechanism that would "tip" the coal cars over to empty the coal into the shakers and picking tables where the coal was sized and slate and waste was removed by hand. The graded and cleaned coal was then loaded into train cars and trucks for transportation. The "dock" or "slag" was simply hauled to the south of the mine where it was spread on the ground to create yet another one of the man made mountains that were the subject of "supersite" cleanup many years later."
Sawyerville Mt Olive Township
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