Rosiclare in Hardin County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Mine It, Mill It, Ship It
People have been digging, processing and transporting fluorite (fluorspar) here since 1842. In the 1940s, Rosiclare and Hardin County led the U.S. in fluorite production and were known as "The Fluorite Capital of the World".
What is Fluorite?
A blue, purple, yellow, green or colorless mineral that tends to form crystals, often in cubes. It is the Illinois State Mineral.
Why Does Fluorite Matter?
Fluorite is used in the production of numerous items and materials, including:
Microscope and telescope lenses
The American Fluorite Museum sits atop the Rosiclare mine shaft at the historic site of the Rosiclare Lead & Fluorspar Co. mill.
At times, more than 1,100 miners worked underground in the Rosiclare area.
By 1900, local fluorite was being shipped around the world.
During World War II, fluorite was so important that mines were guarded and the U.S. government built housing for
Mining companies operating in Rosiclare included the:
Rosiclare Lead & Fluorspar Co.
Fairview Mining Co.
Hillside Mining Co.
Blue Diggings Mining Co.
Knight, Knight & Clark Mining Co.
Ozark-Mahoning Mining Co.
In a mill, large chunks of rock (ore) are broken into smaller pieces by crushing or grinding.
"The (mill) had a tram that ran from the mine down Main Street to the river carrying (ore) to the river and bringing back coal."
Katheryn Knight Hargan
The Ohio River is key to the transporting of fluorite, galena and other local minerals.
Local minerals have been transported around the nation and the world by wagons, trains, trucks and ships.
The High Cost of Fluorite
At least 25 miners have died in local mines since 1915. This memorial pays tribute to all miners who have paid the ultimate price, and to seven miners who died tragically in 1971.
Bill Long Wayne Long Jerry Jenkins Orval Holbrook James R. Lane Randel (Jock) Belford Gale Bates
April 12, 1971: Miner Bill Long entered the Barnett mine south of Rosiclare and did not come out. Bill's brother, Wayne, went in after him. He too succumbed to deadly hydrogen sulfide
Men of the Heartland
Miners of our Earth
Beckoned to His Homeland
Men of family--Men of worth
Kathy Pippig Harris
Rosiclare's annual Fluorspar Festival (first weekend in October) and the American Fluorite Museum celebrate fluorite's historic and continuing importance to the community.
Erected 2017 by Fluorspar Miners Memorial Committee, Ohio River Scenic Byway, City of Rosiclare, America's Byways, Illinois Department of Transportation.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Disasters • Industry & Commerce.
Location. 37° 25.134′ N, 88° 20.667′ W. Marker is in Rosiclare, Illinois, in Hardin County. Marker is at the intersection of Main Street (Illinois Route 34) and 2nd Street, on the right when traveling south on Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 226 Main St, Rosiclare IL 62982, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Ohio River Scenic Byway (here, next to this marker); Rosiclare: The Fluorite Center of Hardin County, the United States and the World (here, next to this Fluorite Mining (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Elizabethtown First Baptist Church (approx. 2.8 miles away); Fueling The Furnace (approx. 5.6 miles away); A Community Comes Alive (approx. 5.6 miles away); Illinois Iron Furnace (approx. 5.6 miles away); Mantle Rock (1/2 Mile) (approx. 5.9 miles away in Kentucky). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Rosiclare.
Also see . . . Rosiclare unveils statue, monument honoring fluorspar mining tragedy, town's history. Article published by The Southern Illinoisan on June 17, 2017, which talks about the dedication ceremony that took place at the then-new pavilion. Local leaders, including Congressman John Shimkus, were present, as well as some family members of the victims of the Barnett Mine tragedy. (Submitted on August 21, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois.)
Credits. This page was last revised on September 21, 2022. It was originally submitted on August 21, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. This page has been viewed 419 times since then and 203 times this year. Last updated on September 15, 2022, by Edward Troxel of Creal Springs, Illinois. Photos: 1. submitted on September 15, 2022, by Edward Troxel of Creal Springs, Illinois. 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on August 21, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.