In 1896, a rich vein of coal was discovered in Michigan that reached from Saginaw to Jackson. It is estimated that one hundred or more coal mines were dug along that stretch not just by companies, but individuals as well. With no registration necessary to start your own coal mine, the amount of personal and amateurish mines dotted the vein from north to south.

As the years went by, most homes and businesses switched to gas and/or electricity, coal use diminished, and coal mining wasn't as profitable as it once was.

While many of those mines are lost to time, there are some ruins that still stand in the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge, just southwest of Saginaw. There are several trails throughout the refuge, but the one that will take you past some old coal mine ruins is the Woodland Trail, that you can easily access by searching for 5050 Stroebel Road, Saginaw.

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There is an old railroad bed that cuts through the woods where you can walk on your way to some ruins. The rest of the trail is OK, except during rainy conditions; then you'll be walking through muck and swampy water.

The ruins depicted in the gallery below are the ones you will come across. Crumbling concrete walls, foundations, the old coal mine railroad trail and more are all seen here. The name of this old early 1900s mine? No idea.

Saginaw County's last operating coal mine was in Swan Creek Township, operated by Swan Creek Mining. At its peak, it produced 100 tons of coal each day. The shaft was sunk in 1941 but by the 195os, coal mining was becoming obsolete. The mine closed in 1952.

Abandoned Coal Mine Ruins: Saginaw County


The Ghost Town of Central Mine

Clark Mine, Copper Harbor

Abandoned Grand Haven Mine

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