Saturday, April 14, 2012
Rock Springs Coal Mine
Rock Springs Park owner, C.A. Smith, also operated a coal mine along the west bank of Beaver Creek near Island Run (downstream from Grimm's Bridge in image). The mine supplied coal to generate electricity for the streetcars, the city of East Liverpool, and the park. It was at the end of a 3-mile off-shoot or spur of The East Liverpool Traction & Light trolley line at the Pennsylvania and Ohio border northeast of Chester. It was common practice at this time for trolley generating plants to supply streetlights and homes with electricity before city power plants were built.
Coal was extracted from the hillside mine in large buckets hoisted from the depths of the earth and carried along a 1500 foot cable to the tipple. Images of the mine and tipple can be viewed at http://www.eastliverpoolhistoricalsociety.org/trolley5.htm. According to this website, “The so-called Island Run electric line was used until 1917 when C.A. Smith found that he could purchase cheaper power downriver.”
Fact from the site http://www.trolleystop.com/trolleycar.htm: Many trolley companies built and operated amusement parks along their lines, as a way of generating extra revenue, during the warm weather months. Before automobiles became available to the general public, many people would ride the trolleys, out to the company owned amusement park, to relax and enjoy their free time. So, the trolley companies not only made money, from the fares people paid to ride the trolleys to the amusement park, but they also made money, charging admission to the park, and selling tickets for the various rides in the park.