Miners in a coal mine set up an electric cutter.

Coal in the Valley: Mid-Michigan Mining History

See how the coal mining industry brought new faces and new opportunities to the Great Lakes Bay Region in this documentary from Q-TV.

Coal was first discovered in Michigan around 1835, but mining didn't take off until around 1890 when the lumber industry began to decline.

At the height of the coal mining industry, there were over 160 mines scattered across the state and the vast majority of Michigan's coal was produced in the Tri-County area. Long hours, minimal pay, and constant danger made for a hard life in mid-Michigan’s coal mines.

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