The Colorado Coalfield War Archaeological Project

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Colorado's Southern Coalfields

The national public became incensed following the Colorado Coalfield War of 1913-1914 and the Ludlow Massacre. They placed much of the blame on John D. Rockefeller, Jr. as he was the overall owner of CF&I. In an attempt to answer his critics, Rockefeller changed his management policies and the services provided to workers. His new program, the Colorado Industrial Plan or the Rockefeller Plan, developed a system to answer miners' grievances and allowed for worker representation through a company union.

The plan reestablished many of the services found under the Sociology Department. However, with a company union, it appeared that workers held control over these services. Many of the services such as classes in English and industrial night schools originated from the new YMCAs. Services also included shows, dinners, and community gatherings which worked to create an industrial democracy. Miners and their families were not completely satisfied with the Rockefeller Plan looking for outside union representation from both the United Mine Workers of America and the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) in strikes in  1919, 1921-1922, and 1927-1928.

Berwind continued to be one of the largest producing mines for CF&I following the 1913-1914 strike. It also acted as a center for the social initiatives of the Rockefeller Plan. This period was also the last one for Berwind as the mine closed in 1928 along with many other mines in the area.   

The Ludlow colony site was not completely abandoned after the strike. It became an active symbol of labor struggle. The United Mine Workers of America purchased the land and continue to use it as a memorial to the massacre and the strikers' sacrifice.



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