“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Near Garrison in McLean County, North Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)

Custer Coal Mine

Custer Coal Mine Marker image. Click for full size.
By Connor Olson, March 1, 2020
1. Custer Coal Mine Marker
Inscription.  Custer Mine, owned and operated by the Truax Traer Coal Company, was a working surface mine from 1947-1964. The surface or strip mining method of coal mining is used when the coal seam is near the surface of the ground. The lignite coal was mined and prepared here, then shipped by rail or sold locally.
Up to sixty people were employed at the mine. In 1950, the mine's most productive year, 370,530 tons of coal were produced.
This site also includes the Hummel Mine, an underground coal mine which was operated in the 1930's. The coal seam was reached through an inclined shaft and coal was brought to the surface in small rail cars.
A "company town” in miniature existed at Custer Mine during its operational years. This "town” had its own water system, sewer system, and central heat. The houses were small in size but large enough to be home to the young families of the miners. An elementary school served the children of those young families. There was alsoa cookhouse where meals were prepared and served for the miners.

Prior to 1975 there were no laws requiring mine land to be returned to equal or

Rail Car image. Click for full size.
By Connor Olson, March 1, 2020
2. Rail Car
better productivity. Custer Mine is an example of unreclaimed mine lands.
When today's methods of land reclamation are used, the casual observer finds it difficult to distinguish between land that has been surface mined and land that has been left untouched. An example of this kind of reclamation can be seen at Falkirk Mine near Underwood, North Dakota.

Captions: Coal Shovels
320 Coal Shovel
View from TX310 Tower Machine
TX310 Tower Machine
Custer Mine

Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceRailroads & Streetcars.
Location. 47° 38.758′ N, 101° 17.78′ W. Marker is near Garrison, North Dakota, in McLean County. Marker is on 16th Street NW (North Dakota Route 37) 0.3 miles west of U.S. 83, on the left when traveling west. Located at a pull-off. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Garrison ND 58540, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 2 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Wildlife Area Evolves From Coal Mine (here, next to this marker); Land of Strange Disappearances (here, next to this marker).

Credits. This page was last revised on January 11, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 10, 2021, by Connor Olson of Lemmon, South Dakota. This page has been viewed 42 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on January 10, 2021, by Connor Olson of Lemmon, South Dakota. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.
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Mar. 6, 2021