Mt. Savage, page 2
Savage. From one of the black entrances flowed a lively little stream with yellow waters, into which I dipped my finger to ascertain their flavor. It was acidulous and astringent, holding in solution both alum and copperas. Leaving the Stygian rivulet we came to another entrance, out of which a train of loaded trucks was passing, every one of which was attended by a miner blackened from head to foot with the dust of his task, wearing in the front a small crooked lamp to light his way. As they emerged from the darkness they looked like sooty demons with flaming horns coming from the womb of the mountain. We now entered, each carrying a lantern, attended by a guide. The vein of coal is from eight to ten feet thick, and the passage is of that height, with a roof of glistening slate, propped in some places by wooden posts. Here and there, on each side of the passage, yawned chambers cut in the veins of coal, and extending beyond the reach of the eye in the faint light of our lanterns. At length we heard the sound of sledges, and proceeding for some distance further came to the end of the passage, where the workmen, each with a lamp in his cap, were driving wedges into the cracks and fissures of the coal to separate it from the roof and the wall. We saw several large blocks detached in this manner, the workmen jumping aside when they fell, and then we retraced our steps. Before returning to the entrance, however, our guides took us into a branch of the main passage,
William Cullen Bryant
This is a reprint of a picture taken sometime after the Civil War. It shows the Rolling Mills in the foreground, and the blast furnace in the far background of the Mount Savage Iron Company where the first railroad rails in America were manufactured in 1841, and onwards. These are the original buildings. Through the courtesy of Rev. George Stanley Schwind.
Ruth Enlow Library, Oakland
22 x 15 cms