|Coal from "las minas" was trucked to UP yard, then moved on trains to Corpus Christi to go overseas|
MINING HISTORYBy Robert W. Hook and Peter D. Warwick
U.S. Geological Survey
The Santo Tomas coal zone of Webb County was first mined commercially by the Rio Grande Coal and Irrigation Company (RGCIC) between 1881 and 1914 By1895, the Cannel Coal Company had completed a shaft and had driven mains in both the Santo Tomas and San Pedro zones at Darwin, Texas (founded in 1882) which was about 25 miles northeast of Laredo, Texas, along the Rio Grande.
The company, which employed several hundred miners, was directed by David Darwin Davis, a mining engineer from Wales. In 1914, the town's population grew to 800 and the Rio Grande and Eagle Pass Railroad was built to transport the coal extracted in nearby mines. By 1939 the mines were shut down and the population declined to 75. Today, Darwin is a ghost town where all that remains is a cemetery. The Rio Grande and Eagle Pass railroad was abandoned in 1947 and the rail was picked up.
In 1979, Farco Mining started to do surface mining of cannel coal. This coal was not allowed to be burned in the U.S., so most of it was trucked to Laredo, then transfered to rail cars and shipped to Corpus Christi where it was put on Ships headed for Ireland.