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Posts Tagged ‘Durham’

Originally published in the Seattle Times, April 2, 1961

(This is the first in a series of articles which will appear from time to time about lost towns of King County.)

By Lucile McDonald

Overlooking the site of the mining community of Cedar Mountain is a window on the south side of the home of Mrs. Edith Cavanaugh. On the table were deeds to the Cavanaugh land, signed by Presidents Grant and Arthur. —Times photo by Roy Scully.

Overlooking the site of the mining community of Cedar Mountain is a window on the south side of the home of Mrs. Edith Cavanaugh. On the table were deeds to the Cavanaugh land, signed by Presidents Grant and Arthur. —Times photo by Roy Scully.

Lost towns of King County rival in mystery the ghost towns of gold-mine country. The thing about them is that most have vanished without a trace—not so much as a weathered heap of timber or a false-front abandoned store to indicate that at this or that road junction stood a community of several hundred persons.

Any map of 50 years ago or more is sprinkled with place names where nothing to indicate a community exists today. Some of them were swallowed by the Cedar River watershed. Others died from natural causes.

Who could find Taylor, Kerriston, Cedar Mountain, Sherwood, Eddyville, and Barneston today? Who would know about Henry’s Switch, Atkinson, Trude, Holmar, Herrick, Danville, and Durham?

Yet, these names remain on the map, monuments to another time, when coal mines and sawmills attracted population to the foothills of the Cascades. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Times, December 16, 1973

By Stephen H. Dunphy

It’s dark as a dungeon
And damp as the dew
Where the dangers are double
And the pleasures are few
Where the rain never falls
And the sun never shines
It’s dark as a dungeon
Way down in the mine.
                    — Merle Travis

Joe Ozbolt had finished a day’s work in the mine and his face showed it. (Photo: Jerry Gay.)

Joe Ozbolt had finished a day’s work in the mine and his face showed it. (Photo: Jerry Gay.)

BLACK DIAMOND — Three, four, then five miner’s lamps came into view as the man-car climbed the 1,300 feet to the surface of the Rogers No. 3 coal mine near here.

There was Tony Basselli, 42 years in the mines. And Joe Ozbolt, black coal dust creeping under his cap like a reverse of the hair he lost years ago. And John Costrich, wrinkled, coal-black hands clutching a battered black lunch bucket. And Bud Simmons, the supervisor, a miner since 1928.

And George. George, with his usual six-feet-at-a-stride pace, was gone, down the hill and toward home before anyone could even say good night.

The day shift at the state’s only remaining operating underground coal mine was ending. The night shift—Grover Smail and Lou McCauley, both with 40-plus years of experience, and Jim Thompson—was ready to go “downstairs” to the eternal twilight of a coal mine. (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 Globe News, July 4, 1976

By Eric Payne

Coal company bulletin: ‘The weakness of the trade union ...’

Coal company bulletin: ‘The weakness of the trade union …’

The world needed more energy.

Working men needed more money.

The world decided coal would suit its need nicely.

Working men decided trade unions were the means to a higher standard of living.

So the irresistible force met the immovable object—and South King County was one of the battlegrounds.

Some old men still remember the war. Today we live in small houses in North Renton, in homes nestled among the trees in Coalfield and Newcastle and Kangley, in shacks outside of Black Diamond. They were the front lines. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, October 17, 2006

By Barbara Nilson

Durham coal mine, August 1919 (Special Collections, University of Washington Libraries). This photo depicts the mine tipple and coal bunkers at the town of Durham in 1919, shortly before its acquisition by Morris Brother Coal Mining Company Inc. The Durham Colliery Company sold the entire town to Morris Brothers in 1922. This photo was shot from a perch on a coal slag pile that still exists to this day, looking across the Kanaskat-Kangley Road and the railroad tracks visible in the lower foreground. (Photo from Bill Kombol’s collection, Palmer Coking Coal Company.)

Durham coal mine, August 1919 (Special Collections, University of Washington Libraries). This photo depicts the mine tipple and coal bunkers at the town of Durham in 1919, shortly before its acquisition by Morris Brothers Coal Mining Company Inc. The Durham Colliery Company sold the entire town to Morris Brothers in 1922. This photo was shot from a perch on a coal slag pile that still exists to this day, looking across the Kanaskat-Kangley Road and the railroad tracks visible in the lower foreground. (Photo from Bill Kombol’s collection, Palmer Coking Coal Company.)

There is nothing left of the mining town of Durham, once located in southeast King County near the town of Selleck, but it still exists in the minds of Valleyites who grew up there.

The Durham Colliery (English for coal mines and its buildings) was originally organized by Peter Kirk in 1886 to supply coal for the projected Kirkland steel mill. Durham was named for a town in Kirk’s native north England. Production was started in 1888 but coal was only mined until 1889. In 1910, the mines were started again and coal was produced throughout WWI. The mines and associated mining facilities, i.e. hotel, bunkers and company houses, were sold as one unit to the Morris brothers. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, August 17, 1922

Pacific Coast Coal Co. Logo 1922Training for the Western Washington First Aid and Mine Rescue meet to be held at Burnett on Sept. 4, is proceeding in all the camps entered in the competition. Last week some of the teams practiced daily, so as to take all possible advantage of the time still remaining to become proficient in the work to be covered on Labor Day.

The Bulletin is printing, in this issue, the practice problems furnished by John G. Schoning, federal representative, which could not be included in the publication last week. It is also printing the rules that will govern the various competitions. (more…)

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

Burnett Mine Rescue Team: Reading left to right: standing, George Kothe, A.L. McBlain, captain; C.W. Eidemuller; kneeling, Theodore Gustafson, Robert Wallace, R.L. McKinnis.

Burnett Mine Rescue Team: Reading left to right: standing, George Kothe, A.L. McBlain, captain; C.W. Eidemuller; kneeling, Theodore Gustafson, Robert Wallace, R.L. McKinnis.

The big Mine Rescue and First Aid meet is to be held at Burnett on Labor Day, Sept. 4.

This was decided by representatives of the Federal Bureau of Mines, the State Mining Department, and operators of King and Pierce counties at a meeting held by them at Black Diamond on Thursday, July 27. (more…)

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