Mining history in Dayton, Tennessee...

As a public history graduate student at Middle Tennessee State University I wrote a research paper on the copper mining industry in Southeast Tennessee, so this article in The Chattanooga Times Free Press is of particular interest to me. I hope you'll also find it of interest...

A view of the Dayton Coal and Iron Co.
Image: Tennessee State Library and Archives
Historian Jaime Woodcock, who works for Wildwood, Ga.-based Alexander Archaeological Consultants Inc., wants to uncover that past and get the Dayton Coal and Iron Co. site listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The designation can help with efforts to preserve and protect the site from vandals and development, but there is still lots to learn, Woodcock said.

“The point of the project is to fully assess what’s here and to determine the significance of this site,” she said.

The Dayton Coal and Iron Co. opened its first mine in 1882, and by 1890 was producing 211,465 tons of coal for the region. Between 1890 and 1892, the company operated 323 ovens, and by 1893 employed an estimated 450 workers.

Over time, however, "mining accidents, low market prices and labor strikes over pay had a negative impact" on the Dayton Coal and Iron Company...

After an explosion killed 29 miners at the Nelson Mine on Dec. 20, 1895, rescuers dug through the Dixon-Slope mine and tunneled under Richland Creek trying to retrieve the bodies.

The mine finally closed for good in the late 1920s under the ownership of the Cumberland Coal and Iron Co., she said.

By the 1930s, the Dayton Coal and Iron Co.’s foundry was closed down and demolished.

Click here to read more from The Chattanooga Times Free Press article.