Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Fluorspar Mining in Crittenden County

The picture at the right is of the Lafayette Mine that once was located at Mexico, KY. The mine was owned by several different companies through the years and was known by different names.

In 1948 it was known at the Tabb No. 1 plant of the Fluorspar Division of the U. S. coal and Coke Company. When the mines closed for the final time in 1973, it was known as Calvert City Chemical Company Mexico Mill.

When the mines finally closed it was a devastating blow to Crittenden County, and it's largest industry was gone. Many men lost their jobs and had to look elsewhere for work.

There is a lot of history recorded about the early days of the fluorspar mining industry in the Mexico, area. In 1904 it was recorded that thousands of tons of fluorspar was in the freight yards ready for shipment by train to plants up North. Mexico was the natural shipping point for a large scope of mining territory, embracing the Hodge, Riley, Pogue, Yandell, Asbridge, Tabb, Wheatcroft and other mines located near by.

In 1924 the mines in the Mexico and Frances area were the largest producing fluorspar mines in the nation. The mining district provided hundreds of jobs for the men in the surrounding towns and communities.

The underground mining of fluorspar was a dangerous and health threatening job, but it was a risk they took to provide a good living for their families.

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