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Archive for January 20th, 2017

Originally published in the Railway & Marine News, January 1916

The opening of the first coal mine on the far western slope of the United States, and the building of Seattle’s first railway

By I.W. Rodgers, of the Pacific Coast Coal Company
All photos courtesy Vivian Carkeek

Seattle Coal & Transportation Company’s coal bunkers, at the foot of Pike Street. Note the wilderness north of Pike. These bunkers were built in 1872, and much to the surprise of Seattle, collapsed into the bay one Sunday morning in the late ‘70s. The vessel loading coal is one of the early side-wheelers.

Seattle Coal & Transportation Company’s coal bunkers, at the foot of Pike Street. Note the wilderness north of Pike. These bunkers were built in 1872, and much to the surprise of Seattle, collapsed into the bay one Sunday morning in the late ‘70s. The vessel loading coal is one of the early side-wheelers.

Now that the oldest coal mine on the Pacific slope of the United States has just celebrated its half-century of useful service to the people of the Northwest it is interesting to turn the pages of pioneer history back to the early days and review the conditions amid which one of the state of Washington’s great industries of today had its beginnings. As a sequel to the opening of that first mine Washington has become one of the important coal producing states.

Newcastle is a famous name in the coal mining world, so it is fitting that this first mine in Washington should have been so named, and for fifty years Newcastle coal has been a standard for domestic use upon the Pacific Coast. (more…)

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