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Posts Tagged ‘Coal fields of Washington’

Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, May 3, 1922

By Geo. Watkin Evans, consulting coal mining engineer, Seattle

George Watkin Evans (1876-1951), 1924 Courtesy Seattle and Environs

George Watkin Evans, 1924

About a mile and a quarter southeasterly from Franklin and about the same distance due east from the entrance to the Pacosco Mine, is the Hyde Mine.

The Hyde Mine was originally developed by sinking a slope on Number Twelve Seam, then later a rock tunnel was driven connecting this slope with the well-known McKay Seam. This mine was opened prior to 1909, but was not extensively developed until the McKay Coal Seam was found, which was a year or two later.

Gangways were driven to the north and to the northwest, toward what is now Pacosco Mine, and gangways were also driven to the south along the strikes of both the McKay and the Number Twelve. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, March 29, 1922

By Geo. Watkin Evans, consulting coal mining engineer, Seattle

George Watkin Evans (1876-1951), 1924 Courtesy Seattle and Environs

George Watkin Evans, 1924

Pacosco, as it is now called, was formerly Franklin. This district was first opened on the banks of Green River on the McKay Coal Seam about 1885. The railroad was extended from Black Diamond in order to develop this coal area.

Originally, Franklin Mine was opened by a drift driven on the McKay Coal at bunker level above the old railroad grade. Later a water level gangway was driven from the edge of Green River and the coal hoisted up an incline on the surface and dumped over the same tipple as that from the upper level. Later a slope was sunk on another bed which underlies the McKay and all of the coal below the original bunker level was hauled through this opening.

Numerous slopes were sunk at Franklin and also one shaft was developed. Most of the coal was mined from the McKay Bed but some was also mined from two underlying beds, the Number Twelve and the Number Ten. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, January 11, 1922

By Geo. Watkin Evans, consulting coal mining engineer, Seattle

George Watkin Evans (1876-1951), 1924 Courtesy Seattle and Environs

George Watkin Evans, 1924

In the last installment, I discussed the coal fields of Whatcom County, the most northerly county in the State of Washington, west of the Cascade Mountains. This time we will group the two counties to the south of Whatcom County, namely, Skagit and Snohomish counties. This is done for the reason that the coal development within these two counties so far has been rather unimportant from a commercial standpoint.

Skagit County: Near the town of Hamilton, on the Great Northern Railroad which traverses the Skagit River valley, is a coal deposit which outcrops on the north and south sides of the Skagit River. About twenty years or more ago, considerable prospecting was done on the south side of Skagit River in a district called Coal Creek and Coal Mountain. No attempt has been made within this area to mine coal on a commercial scale. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, January 4, 1923

By George Watkin Evans

George Watkin Evans (1876-1951), 1924 Courtesy Seattle and Environs

George Watkin Evans, 1924

There are two principal theories of coal formation, one called the Drift Theory and the other In Situ.

There are advocates of both theories, and personally I believe that each is right within limits. I am of the opinion that some coal beds have been formed in the places where we now find them, whereas in other instances, the vegetable matter which constitutes the coal bed grew in another spot and has been transported by water to the place where we now find the coal.

In the Drift Theory it is assumed that the vegetable matter grew in one spot and a current of water carried the decaying vegetal material and deposited it some distance from the spot on which it grew.

One argument for this theory is that there are many partings of shale and other impurities in some of our coal beds and again some of the coal itself is very heavy in ash. It is reasoned that if the material was not carried by currents and deposited some distance from the place where it grew that the partings of shale and other impurities would not be associated with the coal. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, December 28, 1922

By Geo. Watkin Evans, consulting coal mining engineer, Seattle

George Watkin Evans (1876-1951), 1924 Courtesy Seattle and Environs

George Watkin Evans, 1924

On the northwestern slope of Mt. Baker, a few miles south of the boundary line between United States and Canada, is a deposit of coal measures containing lenses of very good quality of anthracite coal. In addition to the anthracite, outcrops of high grade bituminous coals have also been found.

The area in which these coal outcrops occur is mountainous and forms the high foothills of the western slope of the Cascade Mountains. The district is drained by the Nooksack River and its tributaries, Glacier and Cornell creeks.

To date no one can state definitely the extent of these coal deposits, but they evidently cover eight or ten square miles and probably more. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, November 28, 1921

By Geo. Watkin Evans, consulting coal mining engineer, Seattle

George Watkin Evans (1876-1951), 1924 Courtesy Seattle and Environs

George Watkin Evans, 1924

The purpose of this preliminary sketch is to give the readers of the Bulletin a general view of the coal fields of the state, this to be followed by more detailed articles covering each of the counties in which coal occurs in commercial quantities.

Near the northern boundary line of the state, on the northwest slope of Mt. Baker, there is a small area containing anthracite and anthracitic coal. So far no commercial mines have been developed within this field.

Westward and near the shore of Bellingham Bay, is an area containing a coal bed that is being developed by the Bellingham Mines Company. It is not known at present what the full extent of this area is, but it is probable that additional discoveries will be made in Whatcom County. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, March 8, 1922

By Geo. Watkin Evans, consulting coal mining engineer, Seattle

Black Diamond-area mines

This hand drawn map from the article, “Black Diamond-area mines,” was published in the August 1987 issue of the BDHS newsletter. (See http://wp.me/pDbRj-J9.)

We are now ready to take up the Black Diamond area of the coal fields of the State of Washington. The Black Diamond area was opened at a much earlier date than the Ravensdale area.

The old Columbia & Puget Sound Railroad, now the Pacific Coast Railway, which has played such an important part in the early development of Seattle and vicinity, was extended from Renton up the Cedar River Valley, thence across the gravel plains in the neighborhood of Lake Wilderness to what is now Black Diamond.

Mine No. 14, Black Diamond, was opened in 1884 by the Black Diamond Coal Company, which was originally incorporated in California, and operated a mine at Mount Diablo. This company was composed of such well-known persons as Alvinza Hayward, P.B. Cornwall, and Morgan Morgans. (more…)

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