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Archive for January 7th, 2014

Originally published in the Black Diamond Bulletin, Summer 2013

By Ken Jensen

Lily English clasps the hands of James, at left, and Jerry as they wait for word from the Landsburg Mine. The mother and her boys have shown great courage throughout the ordeal since the accident happened. (Seattle P-I, January 9, 1954.)

Lily English clasps the hands of James, at left, and Jerry as they wait for word from the Landsburg Mine. The mother and her boys have shown great courage throughout the ordeal since the accident happened. (Seattle P-I, January 9, 1954.)

Alice Davies, the proprietor of the Confectionery, told 11-year-old Jerry English that he needed to go home—that his mother needed him. That was the first indication that something was wrong. Really wrong.

It was January 7, 1954, and Jerry’s father, Harry J. English, was trapped in a cave-in at the Landsburg Mine near Ravensdale. After 4 long hours Harry’s 25-year-old partner, Roy Coutts of Cumberland, was dug out, but there was no sign of Harry. Hope was fading fast….

“Harry told me that he would drill one more rock and then eat lunch,” Roy told The Seattle Times. “Then the bottom fell out from under us. I grabbed at a timber, but it fell, too.” Roy ended up at the bottom of a coal chute and then was immediately covered by a second cave-in. (more…)

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