There were three 20th century coal mines operating in Breese, Illinois with the Breese-Trenton mining Co. By 6:30 am, the East Mine coal operation began with a shrill whistle that could be heard throughout the small town.
At the same early hour, taverns in Breese opened so the miners could endure the dark drudgery of labor 300 feet below ground to mine bituminous coal, to provide a “boilermaker” of beer and a shot of whiskey that helped fortify the struggling coal miners.
The Baltimore & Ohio (B&O) came through Breese every hour to transport coal throughout the nation. Majestic steam engines were powered by coal. Housewives who hung clean laundry on clothes lines mumbled mild curses as the stream of smoke from B&O trains sprinkled coal ash on clothing which had to be washed a second time.
The B&O was accompanied by another rail system known as the CB&Q – Chicago, Burlington & Quincy. Both lines went through Breese at top speed. A special conductor on the passenger trains bound for St. Louis would snatch suspended mail bags.
The most famous person from Breese was Larry Doyle (1886-1974). Doyle played second base for the New York Giants. He “despised coal mines in Breese but loved playing baseball there.” Doyle was the last patient to die in a TB hospital at Saranac Lake, NY.
The coal mines of Breese, Illinois are closed, paved over by play grounds or golf courses. Those living in houses of an expanding Breese, Illinois might know little of Geologists teaching their students about a huge “Illinois Basin” located in the south.
Coal mines in Southern Illinois were closed in the 1950’s for environmental reasons. Coal mining continues throughout the planet but at great risk to Earth’s future.
Southern Illinois Solar (www.southernillinoissolar.com) is in true sync with Svante Arrhenius (1859-1927), who warned humankind in 1895 burning fossil fuels will harm our planet. Chris Weiss & Scott Workman are hearing what Thomas Edison said in 1920; “I’d put my money on solar.” Southern Illinois Solar is helping us head toward a www.gofossilfree.org planet.
Vic Hummert in Louisiana having over 30,000 abandoned wells in the Gulf of Mexico.