American Industrial Mining
Company Museum
Preserving Our Mining and Industrial Heritage
A 501(c)(3) Non-profit preservation, restorations and education organization

Ray Stahl Coal Mine
Port Washington, Ohio

"The Littliest Coal Mine in the State"

The story of the Last One Man Coal Mine in Ohio

Ray Stahl purchased a 100 acre farm just south of the Tuscarawas River on the out skirts of Port Washington, Ohio. On the property was an old coal mine from the Walsh Coal Company that was abandoned in 1940.  Ray started his coal mine in 1958, it was so small he never officially named it so it became the Ray Stahl Mine.

The drift mine was in the Kittanning #6 coal seam. The height of the seam ranged from 33 -40 inches of coal primarily used for heating local homes in the winter months.

Who was Ray Stahl ?

Ray was a family man that earned a true American living working off his land. He would farm / garden in the Spring and Summer then work in his coal mine from mid fall into the winter months.

He was married to Bernice and had one son & daughter (Harold & Karen).

He was extremely independent individual. "I like being my own boss".

Ray with his daughter Karen and granddaughter Stacy picking apples in Ray's orchard. Snoopy the dog keeping an eye out for any critters in the fields (1980).

Above Ray leans against his Mining Shack - office / repair shop.

Right: A great family picture of the boys - Gerald (Ray’s brother), Ross (Ray’s dad) and Ray

Tim Bouscher – Aug. 3, 2017

The Ray Stahl that I remember was a hard-working, fun, story- telling grandpa.

We would cut firewood on the hill. I mostly plinked with my bb gun putting smaller pieces of wood in the trailer. He would let me ride on the fender of his Allis wc when we were doing stuff. We made maple syrup and apple cider.*** It was fun for me; I didn't have to do any of the hard work.

The stories he told were always funny; I knew every cuss word there was by the time I was six. Spending time in the mine shack was pretty neat for a young boy - strange equipment, parts everywhere, old pot belly stove to keep warm, and tales to listen to.

Dad, grandpa and I would go fishing at Salt Fork Lake. He would let me drive the boat but it didn't take long for me to scare them and take the wheel back.

Shooting guns was another favorite past time. I was about ten when he thought it would be fun to let me shoot his army O3-A3.  He told me to hit the chicken coop about thirty yards away. I missed by a mile; he thought my reaction to the big gun was funny.

He also let me try a spoonful of Hersey's cocoa (for his pleasure, I guess).  He was a little bit ornery.

Growing up in New Philadelphia and getting to go down to the farm was a great experience - mine cars to push around, water pump we had to prime to get water, the outhouse, old oil lamp for light -  seemed like a hard life but that's what he was used to.

I was only twelve when he passed away but he made a big impression on me.  As I got older, relatives would tell me, “You act like Ray.” That always makes me feel good.

*** Ray tapped the maple trees on his property to collect the syrup and then boiled it down over big fires in the yard.  The apple cider was made from the apples in his orchard. Pressed down with an old hand-turned cider press.

Ray Stahl 
Coal Mine

The Last One Man Coal Mine that operated  in the state of Ohio. 


  • Ray started mining in 1958 on his farm.
  • Drift mine and one fan shaft that was also a drift entry
  • It was in the Middle Kittanning #6 bituminous coal seam.
  • The coal height in the mine ranged from 33" to 40"
  • The drift entry to the working face was 600 feet into the hillside.
  • ​Ray built his own 36 inch gauge mine railway

The mine superintendent: Ray Stahl
The mine foreman: Ray Stahl
Total number of employees: One

Average production: 4 tons per day
(Mined in the fall and winter only)

Mine Map

Ray started his coal mine adjacent to the closed Walsh Coal Company Mine. 

Ray drafted his own mine map. He had 2 drift entrances. The one to the left was for his ventilation fan and the second was the main haulage that paralleled the old workings for the Walsh Coal Company.

Mine Maps courtesy from Ohio Department of Natural Resources

Ray Stahl's

THE   Sullivan Coal Cutter
  • Designed for light duty use in small mines

  • Weight of the cutter less the rail cart 2,750 pounds

  • The height of the coal cutter 17-3/4"
  • The kerf thickness or cut height 2-1/2"

The purpose of this machine is to cut a relief at the bottom of the seam which will allow the coal to fall once the dynamite had been detonated.

Coal cutter machine

The  Storage Battery Mine Locomotive
Ray's pride-n-joy  masterpiece

  • Manufacturer: Designed and built by Ray himself ​ 
  • Weight: Approximately 2800 pounds
  • Track gauge 36 inches
  • Would pull all the mine cars with ease from the working face to the tipple

What makes this so fascinating is that Ray utilized parts from a:

-farm tractor
-corn picker
-several automobiles
-an overhead crane
-a truck
-a street sign
and last but not least a pinball machine.

Now that is truly some ingenuity !!

Mine Cars

Ray Stahl had a total of 4 mine cars, each with a capacity of 1700 pounds.

What happened to the mine cars ?

Mike, a co-founder of American Industrial Mining Museum back in 1996 out of curiosity went to the Ray Stahl Mine to find all the cars had been parked outside of the mine.

20 years later and still in touch with the family, the mine cars were removed for preservation in honor of Ray Stahl's Legacy
"The One Man Mine".

The volunteers of American Industrial Mining Museum restored 2 of the mine cars.

-- One has been returned to the mine site at Jim's house and on display as rememberance to Ray Stahl.

--The second that was restored is now in active service once again but for the purpose to educate people about coal mining at our Brownsville, Pa interactive display.

The Stahl family having their family reunion at our mining show in May 2017.

Ray's Daughter Karen with Jim her husband in the Orange.

Stacey, the granddaughter of Ray, next to her husband.

Mine Ventilation

Mine Tipple


By :  The American Industrial Mining Team



Saving ventilation fan for

This page is dedicated to the loving memory

Ray Stahl
"The last one-man coal mine" in Ohio
to the Stahl Family

Special Thanks to:  

-  Jim & Karen (Stahl) Bouscher for donating a mine car and ventilation fan for preservation.
-  Stacy Skukowski, the daughter of Jim & Karen for providing and gathering the family history.

-  The American Industrial Mining Team volunteers for this special project:
Mike & Faith Jedlicka,  Jake Crockett and Pete Jedlicka