From Frostburg to Westernport lay 16 miles of land that contained some of the richest semi-bituminous coal deposits in the country. The two principal veins were (1) the Pittsburgh or Big Vein deposit which was 14′ high and 200′ below the surface, and (2) the Tyson or Small Vein deposit which was up to 6′ high and 100′ below the surface.
Two Scotsmen, Alexander and Thomas Gimmel, organized the Hampshire and Baltimore Coal Company and opened a mine behind what later became Midland School. This mine would be bought by the George’s Creek Coal Comany who later leased it to Bob Loar and Charlie Eagan. In the 1930s, the mine was operated by the Sloan family from Lonaconing.
The Medicine Mine was located about 1/2 mile out of town on the new Route 36, opposite the home of Mr. & Mrs. William Fisher. It was originally owned by the Midland Minding Company, which was run by William Sommerville. It was later sold to John Askey who later sold it to “Tug” Hughes and Chalmer Winner.
Number 8 Mine was on the hillside above the ball park. It was owned by the Consolidated Coal Co. of Pittsburgh. Arthur Winner remembers a wooden trestle that began near the Knippenberg home at the southern end of Railroad St. and crossed over Georges’ Creek to Number 8.
The largest mine of all was Ocean Mines just north of town on Route 936. It was also owned by the Consolidated Coal Company. It was a sprawling complex of buildings, sheds, and a large covered entrance structure. At one time the mines at Ocean and Klondike employed 1,500 men working three shifts. By 1900, about 5,000 men worked in the deep mines of George’s Creek. The coal from Ocean Mines was used primarily by the large ocean liners because of its unique smokeless quality, thus the name “Ocean Mines”.
Text was provided by the Midland Homecoming Committee, written by Sally Cutter Butler. Most of the pictures were provided by Craig Robertson of Midland.