It is probably not now very well known that Balmain, for many years, had its own coal mine.
The surface works were on the site to the north of Birchgrove Primary School. The mine, at first known as the Sydney Harbour Colliery, started operations in 1897 and the last coal was mined in 1931.
The mine was the deepest ever worked in Australia and later produced methane gas, but was not a commercial success. It had poor working conditions and suffered several disastrous accidents.
The property was sold in 1955 and the shafts filled in and sealed two years later.