Archive for February 17th, 2016

Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, February 15, 1922

Pacific Coast Coal Co. Logo 1922Following the action of the former employees at Black Diamond with respect to vacating the dwellings on company property, as reported in the Bulletin of January 18th, the former employees at Newcastle and Franklin have decided to take similar action, and through their attorneys have agreed to move from one-half of the houses at Newcastle by February 15th and from the balance by March 1st; and from the Franklin houses by March 1st.

As a part of the agreement, the former employees at Newcastle have been given permission to occupy and remain in the houses at Old Newcastle until late in June, in order that the attendance of their children at school shall not be interrupted, the agreement providing that they shall vacate those houses by July 1st. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, March 11, 2008

By Bill Kombol

Homes in FranklinThis 1902 photo shows a string of homes in Franklin with a group of children posing for the photographer.

As was common in coal mining towns, the homes were originally the same design and built in an assembly line fashion. Coal was discovered near Franklin in 1880 and the mines were established shortly thereafter.

With the building of the Columbia & Puget Sound Railroad, serious production of coal commenced and in 1885 the first shipments of coal followed. During the late 1880s and early 1890s a series of strikes rocked Franklin.

In 1894, a disastrous mine fire claimed the lives of 37 miners.

By the time of this photo Franklin was a well established, prosperous mining town, lying just above the Green River Gorge.

At the end of World War I, coal prices declined precipitously and the town of Franklin pretty much came to an end, though a few residents remained.

By the time of surface mining the Franklin coal seams in the early 1950s, little remained of the town but memories.

From the photo collection of the Washington State Historical Society, Tacoma.

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