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Cherry Mine Disaster

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Below is a very tiny preview of Cherry Coal Mine -related pictures etc. To see a multitude of photos and to learn about the Cherry Coal Mine Disaster click on the link here after viewing the photos below.

Looking for a ton of info on the Cherry Mine? Click link.


Smoke billowing out of the mine
November 13th, around 1pm, 1909

After 8 days they discover 21 living men!!

Men standing at the main shaft
The men descending here to work and brought up coal here



Geo Pigati's hat etc.
Color of had is typical of the Milwaukee Road Orange


To buy the Cherry Coal MIne Disaster Documentary DVD click here.

DVD is available for purchase

11 photo sets were released each yr up to 2009
Prices are different when being shipped so contact me at

Cherry Coal MIne Model
Built by Ray Tutaj Jr in 1998-99

Ray with Cherry Coal Mine layout in June 1999
Photographed by Ray from sunrise to sunset

In late June on a beautiful summer day in 1999, I photographed the Cherry Mine layout outdoors, two miles south of Mendota on the former road bed of the Illinois Central Railroad. It was actually on the exact site of a former small town called Culton IL. 
My goal was to photograph the layout from the first light of day to after dusk. So I was out there about 17hrs in the sun. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity. I was finished with the layout and was only a few weeks from moving it from my place of residence to the Cherry Public Library where it is on permanent display. I was very pleased with the results which are available in the photo sets and on the DVD.

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