1905 Virginia City Mine explosion

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The 1905 Virginia City Mine explosion was a fatal mining accident that killed 112 coal miners at Virginia City, near Hueytown, on February 20, 1905.

Brothers George and Everett Schuler opened the mines

The Jefferson County Coroner and Alabama State Mine Inspector determined that the explosion was caused by the use of too much powder in a charge made at the 5th entry left. The presence of large amounts of coal dust in the mine's air carried the explosive reaction through the entire mine and caused water pumps and pipes to break, flooding chambers below the water line. All 112 miners present were killed. The mine itself suffered little damage except for a rock collapse at the entrance.

The Shuler brothers and their partners were charged with criminal negligence that April by Jefferson County Solicitor Barrington Heflin.

Republic Steel purchased the mine in 1936 and operated it until 1963. The property was subsequently redeveloped as the Virginia Estates and Edenwood residential subdivisions.


The Birmingham News published lists of those killed, and later, of those whose remains had been received by Kennedy Brothers Undertakers in Bessemer. The following is a compilation of those lists, using contemporary categories1., and alphabetized:


  1. "Diggers" were independently-contracter miners, paid by the ton. "Company men" were employees of the mine operator, paid by the day for supplementary work such as maintaining mine trains, pumps and ventilation equipment.
  2. This list totals 118 names. Some may be unintentionally listed twice under variant names.


  • Ausbun, Danny (January 18, 1973) "Virginia Mines Explosion in 1905 Rates Among the Worst." The Birmingham News

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