Coal in North Carolina
At the late meeting of the American Association for the advancement of Science, held at New Haven,the following communication was made by Prof. Walter R. Johnson upon the coal-formation of Central North Carolina : Coal-Formation or Central North Carolina. The coal-field referred to lies partly in the County of Chatham and partly in that of Moore, very nearly in the wwraphieal center of the State of North Carolina. eographically, it appears to repose directly but in oonforniably upon the upward edges of the gold-bearing rocks; but of the decree of conformity between the two formations, Prof. J. was unable to speak with entire confidence. On proceeding from Pittsboro, in Chatham County, toward the north-easterly portion of the coal-field, we cross the edges of slates, many of which are highly indurated until within about half a mile of the openings, which expose the coal. The underlying standstone which reposes almost horizontally upon the metamorphic slates, has a slight southerly inclination of not more than 6 degrees. The Coal is here about three feet in thickness, and is covered with a friable bituminous slate, in which but few distinct organic remains could be detected but many coprolites of fishes or reptilia, and many minute shells, are observed. In this slate are also observed thin laminae of carbonate of lime. The analysis of this coal proved it to be of the highly bituminous kind, yielding volatile matter 32.83; fixed eirbon 62.78, and earthly matter 3.40 per cent. The fixed carbon consequently bears to the volatile ingredients of the coal the ratio of 1.94 to 1, or in round numbers, 2 to 1. The color of this coal is brownish black. Specimens occur on which are cavities of considerable demh, in which were once contained cave-shaped fossils. Source: The North Carolina Standard, September 25, 1850.
The Egypt Coal Mine
Documents pertaining to the existence of a coal bed in the Deep River Valley is dated back to about 1775 and there was at least one coal mine in operation during 1811. During the 1850s various coal mines were in the region, and in 1853, an auger uncovered a coal seam about 400 feet deep at the Egypt site, however, a vewin was not reached until February of 1856. That event heralded the opening of the Egypt Coal Mine.
Chatham Co. NC Genealogy Resources