The Kunze Coal Mine

The Age of Coal Fossil Fuel

ExtraGraphics/mineTB/trainCoal.gifH.O. 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 below pictures)

Click on the small pictures to enlarge them.

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. Kunze.

This diagram and picture to right show how lignite coal was just beneath th surface in strips. Also an old stove.

H.O. Kunze homestead record. Scroll and read in the area below.

Homestead Record

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.