Map of Lands of Cumberland Coal, Coke & Petroleum Company (1898) [electronic resource]
A Kentucky Land Office ("Warrant #630") map showing lands of the Cumberland Coal, Coke & Petroleum Company lying along the Big South Fork of the Cumberland River in Scott, Fentress and Pickett Counties. This map was part of the so-called "Big Survey." Details include metes and bounds of tracts and owners' names, county lines, rivers, and creeks as well as the size, owner, and borders of each property in the region. Surveyed by Thomas Roberts and L. Riseden in 1898, this land is now part of the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area.
Coal mining in Tennessee first began in the 1840s. However, it did not become an important industry until after the Civil War, when railroad construction made it easier for miners to reach deposits and for coal to reach cities. In the 1870s, Tennessee was tenth in bituminous, or soft, coal production, with output primarily in plateau counties. Around this time, investors purchased huge tracts of land and controlled the most fruitful mines. From 1909 to 1939, coal was the most valuable mineral resource in Tennessee. Production burgeoned during World War II and again in the 1970s, topping out at 11.2 million tons in 1972. During this time, Tennessee ranked eleventh nationally in production, but by the 1990s the value of coal production had fallen by approximately 66%.
Fentress County (Tenn.); Pickett County (Tenn.); Scott County (Tenn.)..
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