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Originally published in The Seattle Times, April 29, 1975

By Stephen H. Dunphy
Times Staff Reporter

Tony Basselli

Tony Basselli, 62, will end 43 years of coal mining when Rogers No. 3 closes. Besides Black Diamond, he has worked in mines in Carbonado and Wilkeson in Pierce County. —Staff photo by Jerry Gay.

BLACK DIAMOND — The days are numbered for the Rogers No. 3 mine near here—the last remaining underground coal mine still operating in the state.

“The mine is just about finished,” said Carl Falk, who manages the mine for the Palmer Coking Coal Co. “In another two or three weeks it will be shut down.”

There’s still plenty of coal in the hills of Southeast King County—perhaps as much as 200 million tons—but time and money have passed the coal-mining industry.

The closing of Rogers No. 3—predicted for years—is the official end of an era for the coal towns that once dotted the area. Coal mining may start up again some day, but it will take new blood and new money.

FOR THE MEN who work the mines—men like Tony Basselli who has spent more than 40 years working underground—it will mean turning in their picks and shovels and retiring. Most of the men who still work Rogers No. 3 are at or near retirement age. Continue Reading »

Originally published in the Maplevalley Messenger, April 27, 1922

Pacific Coast Company gives bridge O.K. and contract is sent to Milwaukee for approval

Milwaukee_RR_logoThe contract for the construction of an overhead crossing on the Milwaukee railroad at Maplevalley, and the elimination of the present dangerous grade crossing has been approved by the Pacific Coast Co., and is now in the hands of the Milwaukee railroad.

A few minor changes in the wording of the contract were made by the Prosecuting Attorney of King County in order to make the document conform to the law. These changes caused a further delay in starting work on the bridge.

There is now nothing standing in the way of an early start on the work except the signature of the Milwaukee officials.

Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, April 26, 1922

New Pacific Coast Coal Co logo - 1927Spring had arrived at Burnett when this was written, and the baseball fans had held their first meeting. The following were elected officers of the Burnett baseball team:

  • Robert Simpson, president
  • A.L. McBlaine, manager pro tem
  • James Maltby, secretary-treasurer

A managing committee was appointed by Mr. McBlaine to aid him in working out the details of the organization as follows: C.W. Eidemiller, Elmer Fitzgerald, Leonard Daun, Frank Connell.

These men are all baseball fans, and their selection met with hearty approval. After the election of officers, it was decided to leave to the committee financial arrangements and setting of league dates. An effort will be made to get Auburn and Kent in the league and of course Burnett expects to play Black Diamond, Issaquah and Newcastle.

The opening game will, it is expected, be played in about two weeks. Continue Reading »

Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, April 26, 1922

bb_1922_04-26_1The cause of baseball in the camps, and of the proposed Miners’ League, was materially advanced last week with the adoption by the company of plans calling for the immediate preparation of two new baseball parks—one at Newcastle and the other at Burnett.

Issaquah’s need for a similar recreation field is being considered, and an announcement as to this camp will be made as soon as existing obstacles are overcome. Black Diamond is, of course, already provided with a splendid baseball field, and is going ahead with its baseball plans as rapidly as possible. Continue Reading »

Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, April 26, 1922

Pacific Coast Coal Co. Logo 1922Three months have elapsed since the installation of the Mine and Central Council organization in the mining operations of the Pacific Coast Coal Company. In that time many opportunities have arisen to test the practicability of the plan, which is based on a pledge of true collective bargaining in which the men and management have joint voice in all matters affecting wages, hours, working and living conditions. Continue Reading »

Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, April 26, 1922

Ma JohnsonMeeting Mrs. Julius Johnson for the first time you’d probably have an instant inclination to nickname her “Ma” or “Mother,” which is exactly what more men have been doing for a score of years than there is record of in the Bulletin office. Which only goes to prove there is something in appearances after all.

For more than twelve years Mrs. Johnson has been mothering the employees of the company at Newcastle. Formerly owner of a boarding house, she is now the lessee of the Newcastle hotel.

Looking after her boarders, keeping ‘em well fed, keeping them cheerful, “kidding” ‘em out of their troubles, and generally spoiling them, has ever been her long suit, and probably will be long after the Bulletin has turned up its editorial toes and gone out of existence.

Which just shows that you simply can’t change some women.

Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, April 26, 1922

Les ForemanThis is L.W. Foreman, more generally known as “Les” Foreman, supervisor of cookhouses and bunkhouses, who entered the employ of The Pacific Coast Coal Company at the height of the emergency through which it has now virtually passed.

Before coming to the company Mr. Foreman had much experience in Treadwell, Alaska, in work much similar to that he is doing now, and since becoming supervisor of cookhouses and bunkhouses has had the opportunity to renew acquaintances in our camps with many of the men he met at Treadwell.

Mr. Foreman’s affable disposition and desire to please has won him many friends among the workmen, and has given him the hearty co-operation of his employees so that there is a satisfied atmosphere at all of the cookhouses and bunkhouses.

Due to the nature of the work, Mr. Foreman is a double-shift worker, having an opportunity to spend but few evenings at home, but he is always glad to put in all the time necessary on the work to keep the service at the proper standard.

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