Pictou Mine

by Carol Stevens

HUERFANO- In 1887, John and Bob Price claimed to be the first to dig coal at this site. Pictou Mine was located north of Walsenburg, along Highway 69. The mine dumps are still very visible. There were two mines that made up the Pictou area.  In the beginning the mines were known as Sulphur Springs, for the nearby medicinal springs.  They were also known as Rock Island mine, when Rock Island Railroad leased the rails from Denver and Rio Grande Western to ship coal for its own use.

    Southern Colorado Fuel Company quickly obtained the mines and began producing at Pictou in mid-1888.  Colorado Fuel Company took over the mine in 1890. The Sulphur Spring mine was also called Lennox, and Rocky Mountain, or No. 2, was known as Maitland.

    In 1889, Thomas Lawther became the first CF & I superintendent to use the name Pictou.  Lawther gave the mine its name for his hometown of Pictou, Nova Scotia.

    Pictou Mine was in operation for many years, from 1887 to 1953, and produced 4,971,359 tons of coal.  Maitland No. 2 was in operation from 1952 to 1972, and was operated by Frank Fink Jr., Clarence Clair and Pete Grgich.  This mine produced 185,930 tons.