Bridge Mine No 1

Estevan, Saskatchewan, Canada

Bridge Mine No 1
aka: Old Bridge Mine

The Old Bridge Mine was the last underground mine in SE Saskatchewan, the last of 37 mines in the district.

E 1/2 LSD 1, Section 32, Township 1, Range 8, W2

  • The operator of the Old Bridge Mine was Edward “Ed” Tajc, in Dec 1957 when it closed, due to flooding Long Creek by SPC for the cooling of Boundary Dam.
  • This mine was on the West Side banks of Long Creek Operated by Edward “Ed” Tajc for 14 years, sold land to SPC.
  • Mine started in 1945 per one article but this should be 1943, if 14 years operating is accurate.
  • When it closed he had only 5 workers left.
  • It's daily production at best was 100 tons
  • Ed Tajc worked for almost 20 years for other firms, last was Louis Bourquin at his White Hope Mine east of Estevan before opening this mine.
  • Ed Tajc was born in Czechoslovakia, and came to Canada in 1927.
  • Old Bridge extended 800 feet in from the bank of Long Creek and 85 feet under the surface.
  • The average seam worked was 14 feet high, and 16 ft across. Coal 5 ft thick was left so no timbering was required. When a room was cleared out the overhead coal was then removed.
  • At peak production 12 miners worked.
  • Before it closed coal was sold at the tipple for $4.00 /ton, or $5.00 delivered to Estevan
  • Name of Old Bridge was given to the mine by Tom and Ed Folley, Dept. of Natural Resources Inspectors, after a nearby bridge over Long Creek.
  • Interesting note, Ed's horse “Dick” was used underground to haul the coal to the mine entrance, for the whole 14 years,retired the day the mine closed.

This mine had a working agreement with the U.M.W.A District no 18, in 1947 Dec 1947 the price of coal was raised from 45 cents to 60 cents a ton. Lump and cobble coal sold for $3.50 at the mine, and $4.60 delivered in Estevan. Price raise was due to a new welfare fund agreement, of 3 cents a ton, for all coal mined was made, by the working mines in the district. They also negotiated a 40 hour week, 8 hour day, and time and a half for work on Saturday.

Note there was a Bridge Mine No 2 as well shown on LSD 1 and 2, same location as mine above.

At the location of this mine, on the upper bank above the mine, was an old metal fan structure, which was used to clear air from the underground mine. would be nice to see this at the Estevan Museum one day, if it still exists there.