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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, January 23, 2007

By Barbara Nilson

The town of Fairfax, declared the “prettiest mining town around,” showing the turn-table at the extreme right above center. Mine buildings are in front and the school is on the left. Carbon River runs through the trees at the top or the photo. (Original copy from Mr. and Mrs. Tony Basselli.) Photo courtesy of Steve Meitzler, Heritage Quest Press, Orting, WA., publisher of the book, Carbon River Coal Country.

Riding the Northern Pacific Railroad to the upper end of the Carbon River Canyon or tooling along to Mount Rainier in a Model T, tourists would pass close to three mining towns: Melmont, Fairfax, and Montezuma.

First, beyond Carbonado, was Melmont, situated between the Carbon River and the NPR line. A bridge spanning the Carbon River ran between the company hotel and the saloon with the depot and school on the hillside above. On the left end of the bridge was the road connecting to Fairfax. This bridge was nearly a little beyond the high bridge which spans the canyon today. (more…)

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Originally published in Carbon River Heritage newsletter, July 1986

by Nancy Irene Hall

James L. Brummett, ex-Coast Guard officer-turned trapper, fisherman, and hunter. Jim posing with some of his furs on the dock of his Double Rainbow Lake Resort located just 2 miles east of Wilkeson on the Quinnon exit. (Photo by Nancy Irene Hall.)

James L. Brummett, ex-Coast Guard officer-turned trapper, fisherman, and hunter. Jim posing with some of his furs on the dock of his Double Rainbow Lake Resort located just 2 miles east of Wilkeson on the Quinnon exit. (Photo by Nancy Irene Hall.)

The site of the old coal mine town once called South Willis lies just a few miles east of Wilkeson on the Quinnion exit. It is now the home of Double Rainbow Resort, a 25-acre resort run by James L. Brummett. This land has seen many changes since its coal mining days.

It was named after the Northern Pacific Railroad’s young geologist Bailey Willis, who did the coal explorations for their Northern Transcontinental Survey in 1881–1884. After his explorations he gave his account of the coal in the Wilkeson, South Willis, Carbonado area in a paper entitled “Report of the Coal Fields of Washington Territory.” (more…)

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