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Diamond in Grundy County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

The Diamond Mine Disaster

 
 
The Diamond Mine Disaster Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cldisme, March 4, 2008
1. The Diamond Mine Disaster Marker
Inscription.  The Diamond Mine of the Wilmington Coal Mining and Manufacturing Company, located near Braidwood on the Grundy-Will County line, was the site of a major mine disaster in Illinois.

The mine was on a marshy tract of land that had no natural drainage. At midday of February 16, 1883, the east side of the mine collapsed from the weight of melting snow, ice, and heavy rains. An alarm was sounded, and miners who were near the escapment shaft hurried to the surface. The main passage to the shaft flooded rapidly, and the weight of the water sealed the ventilation doors in the tunnels. Escape became impossible, and rescue attempts were futile.

Other mines in the area suspended operations, and their workers helped build a dam on the site. For thirty-eight days seven steam pumps removed water from the mine. Volunteers descended the shaft on March 25, and the first bodies were recovered on March 26. The recovery effort was hampered by accumulations of debris and gas as well as by falling rock. Several days later the mine was sealed with the remaining forty-six bodies entombed.

Numerous men and boys died in the disaster;
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two were thirteen years of age, and two were fourteen. Contributions for families of the victims were received from across the United States and totaled more than $42,000, including $10,000 appropriated by the Illinois General Assembly. In 1898 the United Mine Workers of America placed a monument at the site.
 
Erected 1984 by the Illinois Dept of Transportation and the Illinois State Historical Society.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceLabor Unions. In addition, it is included in the Illinois State Historical Society series list. A significant historical date for this entry is February 16, 1888.
 
Location. 41° 17.319′ N, 88° 15.03′ W. Marker is in Diamond, Illinois, in Grundy County. Marker is on East Division Street / Johnson Road (Illinois Route 113) one mile west of Interstate 55, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Coal City IL 60416, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 11 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Mining Black Diamonds (approx. 3.6 miles away); Wilmington, Illinois (approx. 5˝ miles away); War Memorial (approx. 7˝ miles away); In Appreciation (approx. 7˝ miles away); LGBT Veterans Memorial (approx.
The Diamond Mine Disaster Marker and Monument image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cldisme, April 3, 2008
2. The Diamond Mine Disaster Marker and Monument
9.3 miles away); Abraham Lincoln Founding President (approx. 9.3 miles away); Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address (approx. 9.3 miles away); Manitowoc Submarines (approx. 10.1 miles away).
 
Close Up of the Monument image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cldisme, April 3, 2008
3. Close Up of the Monument
Monument reads “Sacred to the memory of our Deceased Brothers who lost their lives by the flooding of the Diamond Mine February 16, 1883.”
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on April 3, 2008, by Cldisme of Joliet, Illinois. This page has been viewed 6,413 times since then and 675 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on April 3, 2008, by Cldisme of Joliet, Illinois. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.

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Jun. 20, 2024