Coal Creek.

This Colorado coal mining town was/is located near Florence, Colorado. The small town was once a fairly significant coal mining community from the 1880s until the 1930s. The town itself was an "open camp" for the miners. This meant that the miners and their families owned their own houses and propertyor rented from private individuals. A "closed camp" was owned by the coal companies and miners were permitted to rent their homes from the company. Coal Creek was, however, greatly influenced by the Colorado Fuel & Iron Company located in Pueblo, Colorado and owned by the Rockefellers. CF&I maintained a company store in the town and sponsored many cultural and social events in an attempt to promote a better way of life and maintain control over the mining community. The information found here is designed to provide some insight into the life of this town during the Colorado coal mining era. We have decided to focus on the time period of the beginning of the Twentieth Century.

Coal Creek, Colorado (circa 1890s)

Coal Creek after 1907 Fire

In 1907 a fire swept through Coal Creek. With desperate measures the only main building saved was the school house pictured in the upper left-hand corner. Below are the students of that Second Grade class in 1907. The following picture's date in unknown. The coal companies often built the school buildings as well as recruited and paid the teachers in towns where their miners worked in an attempt to pacify and keep their workers and their families content. Of course the companies promoted these policies as benevolent and evidence of how much the company cared and nurtured their workers.
Coal Creek Second Grade Class - 1907

Coal Creek School (c. 1900)

Life in Coal Creek:

William, James, and John Murphy - 1895

These youngsters are pictured in front of their home in Coal Creek in 1895. The donkeys were most likely used in the mines.


The Valley Hotel in Coal Creek - 1880

David and Lillian Solomon

Wedding pictures of Coal Creek residents David and Lillian Solomon. They were wed in 1902.

1918 Coal Creek Baseball Team

Each town usually had a baseball team beginning in the late 1800s. Coal Creek would compete with other coal mining towns such as Rockvale or Chandler.

The following items are every day items that Coal Creek residents would have used in the early 1900's:

Washing Machine and Deluxe Washing Machine

Cooking Stove

Miner's Lunch Pail- Water in the bottom, food on top.
Coal Miner's Flashlight

Coal Miner's Hard Hat
Coal Miner's Dynamite Case

Coal Creek Post Office

1910 Coal Creek Town Council

1888 Miners Funeral

The above photograph is of a funeral for two miners, Mine Foreman Henry Wallace and Miner Peter Gallaway were killed in a mining accident in the Coal Creek mines in 1888. Ten other miners were injured in the explosion that happened in shaft number 2. The men had been sent down to put out a fire that had been raging for several days.
2012 Photograph of Masonic Lodge
1900 Photograph of Masonic Lodge in Coal Creek

The Masonic Lodge was built in the late 1800's. It was severely damaged during the 1907 fire. The inside was gutted but the mason walls survived. This building was identified as a Colorado state historical site in 2000.

Coal Mine Shaft and Tipple

Coal Creek 2012

In modern times Coal Creek is a small town of a little over 300 residents near Florence, Colorado. The town really never recovered from the 1907 fire and the coal mines closed in 1931. Most residents now commute to nearby cities and there are no places of business in the town unless one counts municipal offices or the post office.