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Posts Tagged ‘company town’

Originally published in the News Journal, January 23, 1980

Story and photos by Bruce Rommel

Black Diamond sits nestled in the western foothills of the Cascades.

Once hundreds of men worked the strip mines, producing coal, the “black diamond” which powered the railroads, fueled industry, and heated our homes.

Walking the quiet streets of Black Diamond today, one finds only the reminders of those days when this community was a booming company town.

Nestled in the western foothills of the Cascades, Black Diamond and nearby Franklin once boasted a population of more than 5,000. All that remains of Franklin today are a few house foundations scattered along hillsides. And in 1979 Black Diamond is a town with about 1,100 residents, about 50 less citizens than a decade ago. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, January 9, 2007

By Barbara Nilson

The remodeled company store for the Pacific Coast Coal Co. built around 1890 in Burnett now houses the "Pinch Plum" gift shop.

The remodeled company store for the Pacific Coast Coal Co. built around 1890 in Burnett now houses the “Pinch Plum” gift shop. — Photo by Barbara Nilson.

In 1891 the former mining town of Burnett, located about two and a half miles from Wilkeson and 6 miles from Enumclaw, estimated its population at 400 people. Today possibly less than 100 people live in the 32 homes with water hookups. Some of the homes are still the miner’s cottages from the turn of the century when it was an important coal-mining center.

It was situated on the Burnett branch of the Northern Pacific railroad and was sustained by the mines of Pacific Coast Coal Co. that employed around 300 men. There were several business places in upper Burnett, including the company store, which has been remodeled into The Pinch Plum gift shop by Jay and Dailene Argo. Argo, who bought the building in 1977, said he tried to keep the building as authentic as possible. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, December 10, 1925

Richard Goodhead, mine foreman at Burnett, has been a miner in this state almost as long as coal has been dug here. He has been with the Pacific Coast Coal Company at Burnett since the mine reopened several years ago, and prior to that time was at Franklin and Hyde mines.

Loyal to the company, and loyal to the men under him, he has built up the reputation of being a “Square-Shooter,” and a practical mining man. Proof of the esteem in which he is held is shown by the fact that his friends all call him “Dick.” (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Times, May 7, 1961

By Lucile McDonald

Of all the “lost” towns of King County the mostly thoroughly obliterated probably is Taylor, seven miles east of Maple Valley.

Taylor, once with a population close to 700 persons, was swallowed by the Cedar River watershed. Today a young forest is springing from its streets and gardens, and the sites of the coal bunkers and kilns of its once-prosperous clay industry.

Taylor ceased to exist in 1947. Two years earlier, the Seattle Water Department had obtained a condemnation judgment permitting it to include the town in the watershed. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, April 30, 1925

Josephine Corliss Preston

Josephine Corliss Preston

Following a three-day convention of the County School Superintendents of the state at Olympia, at which were present a number of prominent national and state educational leaders, the delegates have been invited to visit Carbonado Mine as the guests of the Pacific Coast Coal Company.

Mrs. Josephine Corliss Preston, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, and Mrs. Clare Ketchum Tripp, Director of the Washington Industries Educational Bureau, have arranged for those attending the convention to visit a number of industrial plants in Tacoma on Thursday morning, April 30.

Immediately following lunch, the party will be conducted by auto to Carbonado, via South Prairie and Wilkeson. Details of the program will be found on the last page of the Bulletin. (more…)

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Originally published in the MVHS Bugle, December 2000

By Barbara Nilson • Photos by Sherrie Acker

Bill and Irene (Maes) Bogh, Tahoma class Taylor class of 1939, at the Taylor program.

Bill and Irene (Maes) Bogh, Tahoma class Taylor class of 1939, at the Taylor program.

Taylor as a company town was discussed at the reunion Oct. 17. Dale Sandhei said he thought they had it better than a lot of people at that time—they had a sewer system, pumped in water, electricity, and the coal was delivered to their homes.

The company was very benevolent; they built a swimming pool and cleaned it out once a year. (more…)

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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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