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Coal Mine


By 1932 there were over three hundred and sixty underground coal mines listed in the coal mine inspection reports but on this date in 1874, The Bismarck Tribune was in receipt of correspondence from the Sweet Briar Coal Mine, one of the first commercial coal mines in the West River country. Located twenty-five miles west of Bismarck on the proposed line of the Northern Pacific, the party of three miners claimed to have already tunneled seventy feet into the mine, following three veins of coal, with one vein three and a half feet thick. They had sunk several shafts and were very excited about the quality and quantity of coal in the area. In 1874, two years before the defeat of Custer at the Little Bighorn, it was a bold undertaking to settle west of the Missouri.

By Jim Davis

Bismarck Tribune June 17, 1874 page 2.