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Originally published in The Seattle Sunday Times, August 15, 1920

Washington mines boost prices to care for higher wages granted to miners recently

Following ratification last week by the mine workers’ state convention held in Seattle of the new working agreement between the Coal Operators’ Association and State District No. 10 of the United Mine Workers of America giving a general increase in wages, west side coal operators announced an upward revision of bunker prices for coal, which is now being passed on to consumers by Seattle retail fuel dealers.

Fifty cents a ton is the advance made on the grades of stove and range coal most used by Seattle householders, including the Pacific Coast Coal Company’s Newcastle and Issaquah lump-nut, which are classed as lignites. The bunker price of these lignites is now $8.50. (more…)

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Originally published in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, August 12, 1884

James Colman (1832-1906)

James Colman (1832-1906)

“You know my business,” said a reporter, as he approached Mr. James M. Colman yesterday, pencil and book in hand, eager to learn and jot down any items of interest which that gentleman, who had just arrived from San Francisco, might be willing to give.

“Yes, I know your business. I know that you are after me for news, and I haven’t any for you.”

“Well, what have you been doing in San Francisco during the past three or four weeks?” continued the news gatherer.

“Well,” replied Mr. Colman, “while there I got out the patters and ordered a pair of direct-acting hoist engines, to be used in raising coal from the slope in our mine on Cedar River to the surface of the ground. I also ordered a sawmill, which will have a capacity of 10,000 feet of lumber per day. The lumber is to be used in and about the mine. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, August 11, 1913

Men employed in collieries of Pacific Coast Company quit in sympathy with discharged committeeman

Organization growing about Black Diamond

Seven hundred miners employed in the three collieries of the Pacific Coast Company at Black Diamond walked out this morning because the company had refused to reinstate George Ayers, a member of the “pit committee,” reputed to be an I.W.W. organizer in the Black Diamond district.

Ayers was discharged following a quarrel with a subforman named Mitchell, with whom he had taken up a grievance of a miner who had not been supplied with a “bucker.” Ayers is said to have become abusive when Mitchell told him that he had no authority to regulate employment. (more…)

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Originally published in the Valley Daily News, September 4, 1987

By Debra Nelson

Les Van Hoof is one of the new breed of coal miners who operate the levers of heavy equipment rather than picks and shovels. (Staff photo by Gary Kissel.)

Les Van Hoof is one of the new breed of coal miners who operate the levers of heavy equipment rather than picks and shovels. (Staff photo by Gary Kissel.)

Coal mining… the words evoke images of dark mine shafts, dynamite, and hardy men, exhausted from the hazards of blasting the mineral from deep within the earth, ravaged by black lung disease.

The old folk song “Sixteen Tons” tells that story—of men who rarely saw the sun and whose blood and sweat made coal the major industry in the Black Diamond region until the 1920s.

But those were the “good old days” of coal mining and, fortunately, the industry has undergone radical changes. For one thing, today’s miners work above ground, in the hot summer sun and the cold winter rain.

This Labor Day weekend, Black Diamond looks back at the old days, remembering those pioneers and miners who settled the town. The festivities include the kind of fun and games many pioneer kids enjoyed. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, August 6, 1922

Beautiful silver cup which is held by Burnett Mine is object of competition

L.S. Campbell, captain of the Carbonado team, holding the Mine Rescue Cup won by his team in 1922.

L.S. Campbell, captain of the Carbonado team, holding the Mine Rescue Cup won by his team in 1922.

Acting in cooperation with the Federal Bureau of Mines and the State Mining Department, coal operators in Western Washington have arranged for a mine rescue and first-aid meet to be held at Burnett on Labor Day, September 4.

State Mine Inspector Abe Morris is chairman of the arrangements committee. John G. Schoning, representative of the Federal Bureau of Mines, is in charge of the program.

The meet, which is perhaps the most important held in years, is intended to include all the important coal operators in Western Washington, and invitations to participate have been sent to the following: Carbon Hill Coal Company, Carbonado; Carbon Coal & Clay Company, Bayne; Wilkeson Coal & Coke Company, Wilkeson; Fairfax Coal Company. Fairfax; Durham Coal Company, Durham; Ozark Coal Company, Cumberland; Bellingham Coal Company, Bellingham; Victory Coal Company, Centralia; Olympic Coal Company, Centralia; Ford Prairie Coal Company, Centralia; Pacific Coast Coal Company, which has mines now operating at Black Diamond, Newcastle, Issaquah, and Burnett. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, August 6, 1975

“A family outing close to home” is how Pacific Northwest Bell’s local community relations team describes a Telephone Open House planned for Maple Valley this coming Saturday, August 9.

It will be held at the Maple Valley Central Office, across from the Post Office, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event is organized by volunteer members of the Maple Valley-Renton Community Relations Team, who are telephone employees living or working in the area.

Visitors will be able to observe the central office equipment in action. Team members will be on hand to answer questions concerning all displays.

C.R. team chairman Gary Habenicht acknowledges that few people are aware of the existence of a local telephone central office, and that one of the objectives of his team is to improve community relations and develop awareness. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, August 3, 1913

iwwMembers of the United Mine Workers of America, having unionized practically all the collieries in this state, may have to clash with the I.W.W. [Industrial Workers of the World] to retain control of the west side camps.

According to mine employees and operators the I.W.W. is attempting to force its way into the mining camps, but thus far has made no marked headway. The union officials believe that the I.W.W. will be no more popular in the mining camps than it has been among loggers, and during the past year I.W.W. organizers have been chased out of the logging camps by the men themselves. (more…)

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