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Archive for January 20th, 2013

Originally published in Prosperous Washington, January 1907

By D.C. Botting, Inspector of Coal Mines

Dave Botting was named manager of mines of the Pacific Coast Coal Company in 1922.

Dave Botting was named manager of mines of the Pacific Coast Coal Company in 1922.

The first discovery of coal in the territory now included in the state of Washington was made in Cowlitz valley, in Lewis county, in the year 1848. The discovery was of no great value, as the coal was a lignite of rather low grade. Four years later coal was discovered in Thurston county; also on Bellingham bay, Whatcom county, where the first coal mine in Washington was opened. This mine was operated from 1852 to 1878, when it was abandoned on account of fire generated by spontaneous combustion.

In the United States census reports of 1889 is found the first records of coal production in Washington territory, the amount being given as 5,374 short tons. The Bellingham bay mine, which produced this, was operated by a California company, of which P.B. Cornwall was the chief stockholder. This company operated mines in California and later in Black Diamond, King county. (more…)

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