The coal industry has played an important part in the growth of Adena and gives employment to people even yet today. Within only one mile of Adena in late 1899, the first coal mine was opened. It was the start of what later developed into one of the major bituminous coal producing districts in the state of Ohio.
When the first mine opened, a dirt road was the only approach for workmen. Walking was the only means of transportation except for a very few that may have had a neighboring barn in which to leave their horses, if they were fortunate to have a horse. Many miners walked from three to five miles to and from work. Mining pioneers were compelled to carry on their heads, an oil lamp with a large cotton wick. It was first supplied with fuel by the use of sunshine on a hard substance similar to paraffin, which was scraped off over the top of the lamp and transformed to liquid by heat. Later sperm oil was developed then carbide light. In the pioneer mining days, it was necessary for the miner to wear his dirty clothes to and from work and upon returning home, bathed in a tub of water that had been heated on the cook stove. The pioneers were mostly equipped with picks and shovels. The production of coal was done by various manual labor methods. From the small start of that first mine, various mines were opened, worked out or abandoned during the period of 1899-1927. During that period were-Deep mines; Rose Valley, Kenwood, Blairmont, Bellaire,
Maple Grove, Herrick, Morris Posted, Dillon No. 1., Long Run, Ramsey, Peanut, Stellar, Roby, Walker, Georgetown, Somers, and Shortcreek. The strip mines were, Tasa,
Bellvue, Adena, Penova No. 1., and Penova No. 2. At the peak of production, these mines produced a daily total tonnage of 16,750 and an annual tonnage of
3,330,000. The coal acreage used in computing all this data were found within a radius of six miles from the village of Adena.
In the 20's and 30's the mines were fully operating near the corporation of Adena. They were; Sunshine Mine, Peanut Hill Mine, Penova Mine, and Robyville Mines.
It was thought that there was enough coal in Adena to give a half-century life potential to the mining industry.
In 1938, of the 3,000,000 tons of coal produced in Adena, fifty percent of it was with mechanical loaders. This method eliminated the manual labor
and in most cases, increased the earning capacity of the employed miner. In 1939 when Adena's population was 1500,
operators in the coalmines were the most progressive and their mines had the most modern machinery and operations.
It was written that miners in Adena could "go to work in their street clothes to a mine where a modern bath-house is found."
Adena mines were noted for their safety and "relief association" which acted as hospitalization for mine employees.
Since the miner's strikes of the 1970's and the re-opening of some coalmines, the coal mining industry today, is transformed.
Did you know that Ray Jeskey Mayor the of Adena works as safety supervisor in a coal mine? If you have any historic information
regarding the Adena Coal Mines that you'd like to see here.
Learn more about the Adena area mines by visiting the Cadiz Coal Museum located at the
Puskarich Public Library.
Most of this information was obtained from
the book,"Our Town Adena." Bill Spadafora's father was injured in a Coal Strike. Below is some information he shared:
| Conditions remained tense but peaceful for several days after the introduction of
troops. But the contiued operation of mines under National Guard protection rankled striking miners. A mob of 400 srikers attacked the Somer's Mine on April 18, 1932. National Guard troops
opened fire on part of the crowd wounding three of the demonstrators. 27 Rpts., COL Caldwell to AG, April 15, 1932, AG REc., Box 1 Folder 13; Steubenville Herold-Star, April 18, 1932. One of the wounded was sos severely injured that his arm
required amputation. Memo for AG n.d., White Papers, Box 13, Folder 2. (If you have any details regarding this incident, please email Bill.