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Posts Tagged ‘company town’

Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, October 24, 1924

Situated one block east of the main highway which runs through Burnett is the cozy little home of Mr. and Mrs. A.J. Hultquist. The front yard of their place, surrounded by a neat picket fence, is one of the show spots of the camp. Its mass of flowering plants and shrubs, with climbing vines and grassy lawn forming a verdant background, presents a pleasing scene indeed. In the picture, which cannot possibly do justice to the beauty of the scene, there is shown the word “Burnett” formed from growing shrubs, behind which is a luxuriant growth of bright blossoms.

Hultquist is an American citizen and a timberman in Burnett Mine. He came to the camp on January 10, 1922, formerly having worked in Tacoma, and in the mines of Cripple Creek, Leadville, and Aspen, Colorado. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, October 17, 1924

One feature of the Pacific Coast Coal Company bunkers on Seattle Harbor, not found in many other ports, is the fact that deep sea vessels may get prompt repairs, when necessary, while bunker coal is being loaded. Immediately adjacent to the bunkers are the large shops of the Pacific Coast Engineering Company, a subsidiary of The Pacific Coast Company, whose trained men and modern equipment are capable of handling any marine repair work except dry docking.

This work is frequently performed while the ship is loading coal, and the vessel can remain in the same slip until the job is completed without interfering with other operations. The picture shows the Westward Ho, an 8,800-ton U.S. Shipping Board carrier, taking on bunkers while undergoing extensive alterations at the same time by the Pacific Coast Engineering Company. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, April 28, 1924

This photo is from the 1925 P.T.A. visit to Briquetville, near today's Gene Coulon Park.

This photo is from the 1925 P.T.A. visit to Briquetville, near today’s Gene Coulon Park.

Briquet Plant data of interest to you

This plant was opened in 1914 and has run continuously since that time. It operates two shifts of eight hours each and produces five hundred tons of briquets a day. That means that over one and one-half million briquets are made each day.

Camp welcomes you

Through Mrs. Julius Johnson, president Newcastle Circle of the Parent-Teacher Association, its membership numbering 51, joins with the entire camp and the company officials in welcoming the visiting P.T.A. members of King County today. We want you to see the mine and the camp of which we are so proud, and when you leave us, above all, we want you to remember your trip to Newcastle and that your return will be welcomed.

The briquets are made from a combination of Black Diamond and South Prairie coals. The first of these give it its free burning quality and low ash and the last, a coking coal, gives it its strength and fire holding power. The binder used is a specially prepared form of asphalt from which the stickiness has been removed.

The trip through the plant will be in the direction in which the coal is run, beginning at the point where the raw coal is received and ending at the point where the finished briquet goes into the railroad cars.

First, will be seen the unloading hoppers through which the fresh coal will be flowing from the railroad cars. From here the coal goes to the top of the high timber structure known as the “Raw coal bunker.” Through this it is fed down by gravity and in the exact proportion required into the two steel box conveyors which run from this bunker into the steel building ahead, known as the “Dryer Building.”

Before leaving the raw coal bunker, by stepping up the first flight of steps may be seen the “measuring” conveyors which portion out the two grades of coal as the housewife measures the ingredients of a cake. (more…)

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Originally published in the Washington State Historical Society’s quarterly journal, Columbia, Spring 1994

By John Hanscom

Drawing of Franklin, circa 1887.

Bird’s-eye-view map of Franklin Mine and its environs, c. 1890. (Courtesy of Don Mason and the Black Diamond Historical Society.)

Henry Villard launched the Oregon Improvement Company in October 1880 as part of his grand scheme to dominate the development of the Pacific Northwest. By 1883 he had tied the area to the national economy with the completion of the Northern Pacific Railroad. Expansive development of the Pacific Northwest seemed assured.

To fuel Villard’s steamships and locomotives, a dependable coal supply was a high priority. By February 1881 the Oregon Improvement Company had acquired the Seattle Coal and Transportation Company, including the Newcastle Mine east of Lake Washington, at a cost of one million dollars. The Seattle and Walla Walla Railroad (renamed the Columbia and Puget Sound) was also purchased for over half a million dollars to transport coal from mine to Seattle bunkers. Villard hired John L. Howard under a five-year contract at $10,000 per year as general manager of the coal business. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Times, December 17, 1986

By Jim Simon

You load sixteen tons and what do you get,
Another day older and deeper in debt,
Saint Peter don’t you call me ’cause I can’’t go,
I owe my soul to the company store.

“Sixteen Tons,” by Merle Travis

It has become part of our folklore: the brutal, indentured existence of miners and millworkers eking out a living in sooty company towns. We all know it was a life of oppression.

But don’t tell that to Edna Crews. (more…)

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

Indication of the wide-spreading use of Diamond Briquets is seen in the growing demand for this fuel for consumption in the smudge pots of Yakima Valley orchards. Each spring, during the budding and blossoming season, Yakima orchardists strive to save their crops from the ravages of late frosts by the use of smudge pots placed beneath the flower-laden trees. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, June 14, 1923

If working a shift in Black Diamond Mine was no harder for the four men shown above than it was for them to pose for this picture, there would always be a mad scramble among the men to see who could get the first man-trip down.

At the left we introduce to you, George Belt, and next to him, Fred Cunningham, a former Issaquah miner. The man next in line is R.E. “Curly” Campbell and the young Hercules at the extreme right is Darwin Walton. (more…)

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