Diamond in Grundy County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
The Diamond Mine Disaster
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; 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
Erected 1984 by the Illinois Dept of Transportation and the Illinois State Historical Society.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Illinois State Historical Society marker series.
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.
Categories. • Industry & Commerce • Labor Unions •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 3, 2008, by Cldisme of Joliet, Illinois. This page has been viewed 5,006 times since then and 56 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.