Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Bruce’

Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, December 27, 1906

Takes two deputy sheriffs and six citizens to quell a disturbance at Bruce, near Black Diamond

Too much holiday liquor the cause. Officials are roughly handled until they get reinforcements, when belligerents submit quietly enough

The town of Bruce was located at the end of the Bruce Branch of the Columbia & Puget Sound RR. The branch paralleled the Green River Gorge Road and ended just south of Lake Twelve.

It took Deputy Sheriff Bob Hodge and a posse of seven men to suppress a riot at Bruce, three miles from Black Diamond, Tuesday night, in which a band of Italians were the participants. Too much Christmas liquid cheer was the inciting cause of the row. Three of the ring leaders, Marona Gibatta, Tony Biozo, and Valantini Areo, will celebrate New Year’s Day in the county jail. (more…)

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Originally published in the BDHS newsletter, Summer 2018

By William Kombol

“Rusty Rails” photo by Robert Dobson, April 2018

“Rusty Rails” photo by Robert Dobson, April 2018

This spring photographer Bob Dobson stumbled upon a short section of railroad hidden amongst a dense forest near Lake Sawyer. He took a photo that inspired a question: “Who laid these rusty rails?”

Little did he know the answer is the story behind the men who founded Black Diamond. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Prepared for the membership of the PNR-NMRA, September 13, 1958

By H.A. Durfy

Coal—black diamonds—a source of heat, light, power, medicines, and many more products too numerous to mention here. This was the beginning of the Pacific Coast R.R. Co., upon which you are riding today. Of course, like other railroads, the Pacific Coast R.R. Co. was not always known by the present title, and we want to lead you through the background and the beginnings of the railroad. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, January 28, 2014

By Bill Kombol

Mine No. 7 opened in 1893 and produced coal until 1907. It was later reopened during World War II, closing for good in 1946.

Mine No. 7 opened in 1893 and produced coal until 1907. It was later reopened during World War II, closing for good in 1946.

This impressive photo shows Franklin mine No. 7 on February 19, 1902. The mine was located on the north slope of Franklin Hill, about one mile from the main town of Franklin.

It was served by the Bruce Branch of the Columbia & Puget Sound Railroad, which paralleled the Green River Gorge Road and ended just south of Lake Twelve.

The mine opened in 1893. It was sunk 3,185 feet along a slope with a 30° pitch, with coal extracted from eight underground levels. It reached a depth of 1,046 feet, or about 150 feet below sea level.

The mine produced coal until 1907 when it was shut down and the rails taken up. During the early years of World War II, the mine was re-opened by Pacific Coast Coal Co. and later operated by the Strain Coal Co. The mine was permanently closed by Pacific Coast Coal on August 1, 1946.

This Curtis and Romans photo, number 1050, comes courtesy of the Washington State Historical Society in Tacoma.

Read Full Post »

Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, April 30, 1980

Maple Valley RR station
Maple Valley’s first railroad station, built in 1887 for the Columbia and Puget Sound Railroad Company. The Milwaukee Road did not come through Maple Valley until 1907. Hence the station was evidently in a considerable different location than the two which replaced it.

At the time this photograph was taken, the track was narrow gauge, probably three feet between the rails, as compared to the standard gauge of 4 feet, 8 ½ inches in use on American railroads today. The Columbia and Puget Sound was purchased by the Pacific Coast Coal Company about 1897 and renamed the Pacific Coast Railroad.

It remained as such until the Burlington Northern merger in 1970, despite the face that in 1952 the Great Northern purchased the railroad and operated it as a separate company. (Photo courtest Maple Valley Historical Society.)

(Editor’s note: The Milwaukee Railroad ran its last train through Maple Valley on March 15 and a significant historical era ended. In this series of articles, beginning below, Dave Sprau, Burlington Northern train dispatcher, recalls the often turbulent past and, to many valleyites, the sad present.)

By Dave Sprau
Installment I

At 4 p.m., Friday, April 4, 1980, Burlington Northern Agent Ralph Ozura locked the door on the Maple Valley station and went home for the last time.

Unlike other days, no “night man“ showed up to relieve Ralph and keep the station operating on its previous 24-hour, seven-day-per-week basis. An era had ended. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Originally published in the BDHS newsletter, August 1987

Black Diamond-area mines

Click to enlarge the map.

When the coal explorers came to the Green River coal fields in 1880, they had no way of knowing actually how great the extent of the coal was. People ask many questions about the mines: Where were they? How long did they last? Is there more coal left? Were there disasters? How much coal was mined?

The Green River coal fields covered some 80 square miles. It is estimated that between 40 and 50 million tons of coal was mined. Constant reading and research has brought many things to light but much is still to be learned. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Seattle, Wash.
April 29, 1894

Mr. H.W. Cannon,
Chairman, The Pacific Coast Co.

Dear Sir,

Railroad lines in Black Diamond and Franklin, including the Bruce Branch, 1906.

Railroad lines in Black Diamond and Franklin, including the Bruce Branch, 1906.

We regret to advise that on April 19th at 5:25 a.m. as Extra 8 was running to Black Diamond from the Bruce or No 7 mine with nine carloads of coal, the engineer and train crew lost control of the train which gained such headway as to cause it to jump the track on the sharp curve approaching Black Diamond. The engine turned over on its side and six coal cars were derailed. Engineer Joseph Scanlon was killed and his fireman George Hogeland was slightly injured. Hogeland was considerably bruised but no bones broken and will be out of the hospital in a day or two.

It appears the air brake on the engine was not working and the train crew knew this before they went up the branch to the mine. They depended on the hand brakes to let the train down the hill. This would have been all right, but unfortunately it appears that the engineer did not take the precaution to see that his sand pipes were in good working order. After they started down the hill he found that he could not sand the rails.

Engineer Scanlon had been in the service some ten or twelve years and was considered a safe man but appears to have used poor judgement in this instance.

It is not expected that any damage suits will result. The cost of picking up the engine and cars, repairing the same is estimated $2,725.00.

Yours truly,
J.C. Ford

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »