Colorado Fuel and Iron: Company Mines

Frederick Coal Mine

Location: Las Animas County, Colorado
Years of Operation: 1907-1960 
Total Production (tons): 29,688,794
The Frederick Mine was second largest coal mine the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company ever operated.  It was  located about fifteen miles west of Trinidad with drift entries at six thousand six hundred feet above sea level.. The original name of the Frederick Mine was the Valdez which was opened in 1907 The Mine was serviced by Rail through the southern Division of the C&W railroad company. 

As with most CF&I mines housing , schools and even a YMCA clubhouse were provided at the near by community of Valdez. On November 14th of 1908 CF&I opened up the CSCo at Valdez. 

The coal produced from Frederick was of the Bituminous variety and was used for coke and split between coking at Segundo's eight hundred coke ovens and in 1918 to Pueblo. The Coal that was sent to pueblo was used in the by product ovens as the coal  required a high draft for combustion and so was not viable for the domestic market. The coal seam initially was discovered to be between five and six feet in thickness. 

By 1927 The Frederick Mine employed around five hundred men and one hundred and twenty eight mules. The Mine operated using mules and electric trams to ferry the coal from the mine. Most of the Mine operated under a modified room and pillar system. At that time the mine was estimated to produce between one thousand five hundred  tons of coal to two thousand tons per day. 

The Mines operation was ensured by an exhaust system that pulled out one hundred thousand cubic feet of air per minute. Coal was screened at the tipple and large pieces were fed into a Jeffery Single roll crusher then loaded into the rail cars.

In 1940 the mine had phased out mule haulage and replaced it completely with battery operated trams. The war years saw an increase in production goal of three thousand tons of coal per day, but was unable to meet the goal. Employment at the mine also increased to seven hundred men, but the mine was still considered understaffed with full staff considered nine hundred and fifty employees. 

In 1954 the Frederick mine's viability came into question. The Coal seam had dwindled from six feet in thickness  to three feet, and the ceiling supports were considered poor. Due to these considerations CF&I green lit the opening of the Allen mine and proceeded to shut down the Frederick mine and Company store in 1960.

Accident Reports
As with any mining the work was often dangerous and accidents and disasters often occurred. CF&I kept records of all accidents and employed artists to render sketches of accidents to help complete their records. Below is one such sketch and explanation of an accident.

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