The Kunze Coal Mine
The Age of Coal Fossil Fuel
Kunze owned and operated a lignite coal mine near Havelock,
North Dakota. The mine began operation around 1920 and ceased
major operation during the depression (1930s).
In those times, coal was a major source of fuel. Cooking stoves,
furnaces,railroad engines and even some automobile engines burned
coal as a source of energy. Back then, it was probably hard
to think that the demand for coal would not go on forever. But,
technology and economics change. The depression was coming,
and lignite coal was softer, burned faster and less "clean"
than its competitor, bituminous coal. Tthe Havelock Kunze mine
had an entrance with a "tipple" around it and a track
leading up to the entrance. (More text
Click on the small pictures to enlarge
Main entry to the Kunze mine.
The "tipple" entry to the Kunze mine.
Al bill for coal taken from the mine.
Perhaps brothers Fred and Bill Kunze sit on top of
a mine entry.
Excitement of the mine operation described by a local
newspaper in 1920.
17 acres of land near Havelock once farmed by H.O.
This diagram and picture to right show how lignite
coal was just beneath th surface in strips. Also an
H.O. Kunze homestead record. Scroll
and read in the area below.
The kunze coal mine was an underground mine located
at the northeast quarter of section 33, in Havelock Township.
The Milwaukee Railroad had a railway line running very close
to the mine. Around 1920 a narrow guage track and trestle was
built from the mine to the railway, and cars there were powered
by traction engines. Coal was loaded onto those cars by a patent
"tipple" capable of dumping coal directly into the
cars. A newspaper reported that 100 tons per day could be mined.
The mine caught fire in 1934 and burned until 1937, when the
fire was snuffed out be very heavy rains. The coal mine entrance
is now covered over by reclamation strategies in North Dakota.