Long before the founding fathers got together to form the Coal City Area Club, the property that is now the Coal City Area Club belonged to a few farmers.
In 1874, the property that is currently the Coal City Area Club (parts of section 22, 23, 27 and 26) was part of the Wilenou, Short and a few other farms. This is before any mining took place and the townships were established.
In 1892 Carbon Hill had been established. The railroad company, Gardner , Coal City and Northern Railroad Co., had established the Dell Abby Station along what became the EJ&E track. Today the EJ&E track is currently leased by Com Ed where the high lines are located and which is the west border of the Coal City Area Club today.
In 1904 the shaft mining was still prevalent and most of the Area Club was still farmland. However the Star Coal Mine now owned land just south of the Club and sold out to the Big Four Coal Company in 1902.
By 1925 the Big Four Coal Company had developed more railroad spurs to transport the coal and bought more property, which in 1928, was bought out by the Northern Illinois Coal Company and strip mining began.
According to Melbourne McKee, a chemist for Peabody, this Marion Type 5560 shovel was assembled in 1935 on site after it’s parts arrived at the railroad spur known as Del Abby. It was the largest built at the time with it 32 cu yard capacity bucket. It worked alone for many years starting at the Peart Road mines and moved south until it reached it capacity at depths of 50-60 feet. It continued east and then worked with a drag line in the deeper pits and continued east through the Coal City Area Club in the 1940’s and 50’s continued to work in Braidwood and to Essex.
Another early shovel used in mining strip mines in the area
In 1950 Northern Illinois Coal Company was bought out by the Sinclair company which in 1954 merged with the Peabody Coal Company. (Section 22,23, 26 and 27). The Will County area continued to be strip mined until 1974, when Peabody moved all its operations to southern Illinois.
The Coal City Area Club after it was mined in 1955.
In 1955 the Northern Illinois Coal Company owned the Area Club and there were railroad spurs to hall the coal out, as well as truck hauling.
Banuchi “BJ”/“Red” Ulivi at the Coal City Area Club in 1958 at what is now the swimming beach, there is little to no vegetation and trees. These pictures were taken at what is today the swimming beach. He and Irene were the 1st managers and they lived and breathed the Area Club. Irene did all the paper work by hand and sometimes she would even commandeer her children to help with the decals.