There isn't an abundance of information easily available on the coal mines that were once here in Tulsa. I have found maps, which are helpful and useful- provided you can read and understand them. I have found recollections from former workers and one lone newspaper article from 1932. In it the reporter decided to see what the life of a miner was like and visited one of the mines on the "outskirts" of town. His last remark: "As we make our way back to the showers, I take off my hat to the miners and fervently confess to my guide that I'd rather see, than be one!" There were a lot of interesting photos taken for this newspaper article. Unfortunately the xeroxed copies make them unusable to share here.
This is a photo of men digging a strip pit in Indian Territory (photo courtesy Oklahoma Heritage Association):
There were at least 14 coal mines in Tulsa. Here is a map obtained from a reference book in the library showing them:
(click on photo to enlarge)
The other drawn maps are Sanborn Maps.
There used to be a town called Dawson back before statehood. It has since been absorbed into the big city. This Google map shows it to have been here:
Dawson was the home of strip coal mining as well as a rock quarry. The Smith Brothers owned and operated the coal mine there as did Leavell Coal Company.
Since the Smith Brothers aren't on the above list, they were probably one of the first coal mines in the area. This is a photo of workers with the Smith's daughter on the bank.
This was the Henry Adamson Coal & Mining Co. and the Adamson Coal Mine - located together south of 11th Street between Yale and Sheridan.
The Seneca Coal Mine was located on the land where Doctors Hospital now stands on Harvard. When I was researching the Harvard Apartments Mystery I learned that, in the late 1940's Coca Cola was interested in building a plant "out there" but didn't because of the instability from the mines. And years later, when the hospital was built, it was noted that in one of the elevators you could still smell the coal.
Next to the Seneca Coal Mine was Hickory Coal Mine #2 aka Lucinda. This little slope was located on the south side of 21st, just east of (what would become) the Broken Arrow Expressway. This was the mine the reporter visited in the story I mentioned above. Frank and William Podpecham started Hickory Coal Co here in 1929.
You can see in the map that the company general store was at the west end of the complex, as you would now go under the expressway bridge. The miners, who lived in a 'tent city' of sorts, had tokens that they would spend at these stores.
And then there are these maps that I snagged online of the Fairground area mines and shafts. I'm not quite sure how to read the yellow lines - but what a honeycomb design they make! Again, click on these to enlarge:
The white rectangle at the top of this is the Expo Building:
Anyway, now you can see that all of the rumors about the Fairgrounds, Sears, the baseball park etc being on top of coal mines are true.