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New Peerless Coal Mine

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This page was last updated on January 24, 2019.

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(This is a work in progress; research continues.)

Overview

Development of the coal lands of the New Peerless mine were started in the mid 1920s, using the modest profits gained by the Peerless Coal Company as it "phased-out" its operations in the Castle Gate A seam in its Spring canyon mine. (Cederlof, A. Philip. The Peerless Coal Mines, 1916-1953, pages 3, 12)

(Read more about the original Peerless mine in Spring canyon)

The mine at New Peerless was located about a mile north from the Royal mine. The mine was opened in 1930 by the Thompson brothers, sons of Ezra Thompson, owner of the Peerless mine in Spring Canyon. The mine used a thirty degree incline to reach two coal seams, one was 1,900 feet below the surface and the other was 2,300 feet below the surface. The mine opening was located on top of the canyon walls above the tipple, which was located adjacent to the D&RGW mainline. The mine opening was connected to the tipple by use of a tramway. The tipple was reported to have cost about a half million dollars to construct. The new mine was forced to shut down just a year later, in 1931, due to financial conditions in the country. (Madsen, C. H., editor and compiler. Carbon County: A History, 1947, page 46)

The New Peerless mine was located north of the Royal mine in Price River canyon. The mine itself was a tunnel driven at a thirty degree downward incline into the Castle Gate B (twenty-four feet thick) and D (sixteen to eighteen feet thick) seams on property owned by and leased from Emmett Olsen and Culbert Olsen. At this point, the seams were 1,100 feet below the Price River. Railroad yards were built, served by the D&RGW, and a new McNally-Pittsburgh Steel tipple was built. The New Peerless mine "made gas", and there was an explosion in March 1930 in which five men lost their lives. The mine began operations in about 1929 and continued until June 1931, when the mine was closed. The reason stated was because of the stock market crash of 1929. The tipple was sold to Utah Fuel in 1943 and was incorporated into Utah Fuel's plant at Sunnyside. (Cederlof, pages 13-14)

The mine cars of the New Peerless mine passed over U. S. highway 50, between the mine portal and the tipple, which sat over the railroad tracks used for loading railroad cars.

Timeline

April 28, 1928
Work commenced on the sinking of the incline shaft to reach the two coal beds that were to be mined by the New Peerless company. The incline tunnel was to be 1,973 feet long, and slope down at an 8 percent slope. (Robert Howard, "Driving Rock Slopes At The New Peerless Mine," U. S. Bureau of Mines Information Circular 6277, June 1930, page 4)

(Robert Howard, of Salt Lake City, was the superintendent of the Peerless mine in Spring Canyon, until the mine was closed in favor of the New Peerless mine in Price canyon. He was later one of the principle leasers of what became known as the "Old" Peerless mine, along with Robert Turner, forming the company Howard & Turner to work the old mine. Robert Howard passed away on March 7, 1932 at age 63.)

June 8, 1928
Engineers were on site of the tipple at the New Peerless mine, designing the location of the tipple and railroad tracks. (Ogden Standard Examiner, June 8, 1928)

June 19, 1929
Excavation had begun for the construction of the tipple at the New Peerless mine. (Iron County Record, June 19, 1929)

July 1929
The Peerless Coal company has contracted with Pitsburgh Boiler and Machine company for the cosntruction of a new steel tipple with 400 tons per hour capacity. (Coal Age magazine, July 1929, page 446)

November 1929
The incline tunnel (14x8 feet) and parallel airway (10x9 feet) were completed. The airway was 50 feet above the main tunnel. (Howard, page 4)

March 8, 1930
An explosion in the New Peerless mine resulted in the deaths of five men. Coal shipments had only been from developing work, with only 1,133 feet of tunnel within the coal seam having been completed. The cause was placed on the shift boss. "Little damage was done to mine workings or surface plant." (Salt Lake Telegram, March 9, 1930; Ogden Standard Examiner, March 20, 1930; Coal Age magazine, April 1930, page 244)

March 23, 1930
The state mine inspector issued his report as to the cause of the New Peerless explosion. The blame was placed on the shift boss for operating one of the machines, instead of paying attention to what the other workers were doing when they hit a gas pocket. (News Advocate, December 18, 1930)

April 3, 1930
The widows of the four married men received $12 to $15 per week for a period of six years as settlement from the Utah worker's compensation fund. The mother of the fifth man, single, received $6 per week. (Ogden Standard Examiner, April 3, 1930)

April 30, 1930
The New Peerless mine went into production. The coal preparation plant and loading tipple had a capacity of 5,000 tons per day and represented the latest in design. Any size or grade of coal could be produced and any size or type of rail car could be loaded. (News Advocate, January 1, 1931)

June 3, 1930
Another explosion took place at the New Peerless mine. No one was hurt, and there was no equipment damage.

1929-1931
The New Peerless produced 100,000 tons from the Price canyon property between 1929 and 1931. (Cederlof, page 47)

January 28, 1932
The Peerless Coal company announced the closure of the New Peerless mine, due to "extremely high" valuation placed on the tipple and railroad tracks. The newspaper speculated the the closure was also due to the low prices of coal, and the high prices paid for the machinery that was installed were the actual cause. The investment needed to open the mines was reported as $1 million. All machinery and equipment in the mine would be removed and sold. (News Advocate, January 28, 1932; Helper Journal February 4, 1932)

August 26, 1937
Dismantling of the New Peerless loading tipple resumed after being stopped on August 16th by Carbon County. The county had taken ownership of the property where the tipple stood for unpaid property taxes in 1931-1935. Peerless Coal company sold the tipple (or parts of it) to U. S. Fuel and Blue Blaze Coal companies, and the two companies had begun dismantling the tipple. The action was stopped by the county, but was allowed to resume after the companies paid a settlement of $900. (Salt Lake Telegram, August 17, 1937; Helper Journal, August 26, 1937) (There was a later lawsuit by First Security Bank in October 1937 to recover the railroad yard tracks from the county.)

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