Mining has been a large part of the economy in central and southern Illinois over the last 150 years but the location of hundreds of mines have been lost to the ages, until now.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has teamed with the Federal Office of Surface Mining and the Illinois Department of Transportation to document locations of mines throughout the region. DNR’s Chris Young says the on-line maps will surprise many city residents.
“It is pretty interesting to look at the maps. If you go to isgs.illinois.edu/ilmines, if you scroll down the page, it has a lot of these old mines documented,” says Young.
Young says much of the current west and north sides of the city had active surface and underground mines until the late 1920s.