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 Pioneer Coal Shipper of Belmont County, Ohio

by Marie Bundy

Up to 1830 the mining of coal was for domestic purposes only, and little or no value was attached to it for shipping purposes. In 1832 Captain John Fink, an old steamboat man who was familiar with the demands of the trade for coal in Southern cities began to build coal boats for the purpose of shipping coal to the New Orleans market. Mines were opened near the mouth of McMahan Creek and the coal was shoveled into carts and reshoveled onto flatboats, which upon the rise of the river were floated to New Orleans to be used in furnishing heat for sugar refineries. Captain Fink became the pioneer in the coal shipping industry of Belmont county.

Source: History of the Upper Ohio Valley, Vol. II






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