Toluca Coal Mine
Image Courtesy of Karen Kruse
The marker is located in Toluca on Bennington Street 1/2 mile west of Broadway Street.
The Illinois History Club of Lexington High School and The Illinois State Historical Society.
In 1893 the Sante Fe Railroad authorized Charles Devlin, their manager of mining properties, to purchase the mineral rights here to 11,000 acres. The Devlin Coal Company sank two shafts and began producing coal using the longwall method, extracting coal from a seam as work progressed along a continuous working face. At its peak in 1905, 771 workers produced 379,000 tons of coal.
The mine attracted hundreds of immigrants, especially Italians. Toluca boomed until the mine closed in 1924, unable to compete with mines that produced coal at greater efficiency. These two slag heaps, “The Jumbos,” are memorials to the region’s coal industry and its workers.
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