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Posts Tagged ‘coal car’

Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, January 31, 1924

At the ocean terminal of The Pacific Coast Company’s railroad in California there are two large shipping wharves about two miles distant from each other. One agent, J.S. Sullivan, handles both wharves and he has worked out the ingenious machine shown above for running back and forth between them.

As can be seen, it is a five-passenger Ford car equipped with railroad wheels. The steering wheel, apparently, is intended for emergency calls when Mr. Sullivan is in too great a hurry to go around by way of the railroad track and finds it necessary to short-cut across the water. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, April 25, 1929

Sixty-six years ago next fall “Ed” Henderson sighted an imaginary line across the foothills of the Cascade Mountains which revealed one of the cornerstones of community and industrial progress in the Pacific Northwest. Engaged in surveying, he became the discoverer of an extensive coal field from the various developments of which millions of tons of coal have been poured into the uses of commerce during the last half-century.

The only commercial coal produced in the Pacific States is mined within a radius of seventy miles from this discovery, and therefore it commands an extensive market. Next to lumber it is the most enriching natural wealth of the region, the annual output being normally about 2,500,000 tons. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, March 29, 1923

Newcastle 1923

When the special train pulled into Newcastle last Thursday with some 150 dealers from Washington and Oregon who handle the product of the Pacific Coast Coal Company mines, many of them for the first time saw the actual operation of hoisting coal when they stood around the entrance to Newcastle Mine as shown in the cut above. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, November 18, 2008

Franklin 1902

By Bill Kombol

This photo was taken at the entrance to the Franklin No. 1 coal mine at the town of Franklin on February 19, 1902.

The coal miner who is shown was called a “rope rider” as he would ride the coal cars pulled by a steel cable (the “rope”) into and out of the mine.

At the bottom of the mine the rope rider would couple the cable to the coal car and then ride the car to the outside portal (i.e. entrance) to the mine. There he would uncouple the loaded coal car so that it could be dumped into the surface preparation plant (the tipple) where the coal would be sorted to different sizes and processed. (more…)

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Originally published in the Seattle Post-intelligencer, July 3, 1977

By Judi Hunt

Black Diamond BakeryBlack Diamond is a “never on Monday or Tuesday” kind of town. Those are the days that the former mining community’s main attractions—the bakery, cheese and sausage shop, art gallery and potter-in-residence—are closed.

There’s more to Black Diamond than those favorites of out-of-towners, of course. Two of the town’s three taverns seem to do as lively a business at the beginning of the week as at the end.

And so do the drug, liquor and grocery stores in the small shopping center on the Maple Valley Highway which links this sleepy little haven to the rest of south King County.

But what brings the visitors to Black Diamond—southeast of Renton and east of Auburn—is bread.

Not just any kind of bread, but the very special variety that tantalizes all the senses and which apparently can only be made in a wood-fired brick oven like the one at the Black Diamond Bakery. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, May 1, 2007

By Bill Kombol

Coal, or black diamonds as they were affectionately known, was first discovered in King County in 1853. By the 1890s coal mines were operating in Black Diamond, Franklin, Ravensdale, Issaquah, Renton, Newcastle, Durham, Cedar Mountain, Kangley, Cumberland, and further south in the Pierce County mines of Burnett, Carbonado, Fairfax, Pittsburg, South Prairie, and Wilkeson.

When Coal Was King highlights the coal mining roots of our immediate region while providing a historic glimpse of the coal miners and coal mines that once dotted the landscape. Readers with historic coal mine photos that they would like to share, or any corrections and comments about photos shown here each week, should e-mail the column editor at palmercokingcoal@aol.com.

Dave Evans, Dave Manson, and Floyd Coutts are shown in this fairly typical underground coal mine.

Dave Evans, Dave Manson, and Floyd Coutts are shown in this fairly typical underground coal mine.

Dave Evans, Dave Manson, and Floyd Coutts are shown in this fairly typical underground coal mine probably in the early 1950s. Notice the heavy timber called mine props or sets, that held up the roof of the mine. At the miners’ feet are the rails that transported the coal cars from the working face of the mine to the slope where the coal cars were hoisted out of the mine. Above the miners’ heads are the electric wires that provided electricity to operate the mine equipment. Judging from the steep dip of the coal seam, this mine was likely located at Landsburg near Ravensdale, where geologic forces tilted coal seams to a nearly vertical stratum.

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Originally published in the BDHS newsletter, April 2006

By Frank Hammock

Franklin coal carNestled in silence along a hillside 3 miles southeast of Black Diamond, Washington the forgotten remnants of a historical town once stood that was busy and teamed with life. Few people know of its existence and even fewer know of its significance to Washington’s history. In fact, driving by the area one would never even know that a town of over 1,000 people once existed there because its current location is severely obscured by trees and underbrush, and there are no signs that betray its hidden presence. Only a well worn trail will lead the curious from the main paved road through a gate and into the wilderness beyond.

Stories fit for a campfire abound of men and families that lived in this small locale at the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. How much do we know about the forgotten town of Franklin? Where did it go and why? What was unique about it?

On the afternoon of January 14, 2006, I had the joyful opportunity to learn more when I attended a tour of the old town site led by Mr. Don Mason of the Black Diamond Historical Society. (more…)

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