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Posts Tagged ‘Elkcoal’

Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, August 29, 1924

Making hay while the sun shines is a motto which J.F. Torrence, manager of the Pacific Coast Coal Company depot at Tacoma, believes in putting into practice.

Consequently, when coal orders slumped during the hot weather of July he fitted up the office with extra typewriters and employed ten young ladies to operate them until a total of 15,000 letters had been written, addressed and mailed, admonishing an equal number of Tacomans to follow the example of the thrifty and and lay in a winter’s supply of fuel before the chill winds of winter found them with empty coal bins.

The influx of orders which followed necessitated the putting on of another truck to make deliveries. (more…)

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Originally published in the MVHS’s The Bugle, November 1997

By Eva Litras

Dale Coal Company in Ravensdale, a typical small mine of this area early in the century. Photo supplied by Maple Valley Historical Society Museum.

Dale Coal Company in Ravensdale, a typical small mine of this area early in the century. Photo supplied by Maple Valley Historical Society Museum.

This is a story about the Elkcoal Mine—located off the Kangley-Kanasket Road. We moved there in 1929 and lived in a small house on Sugarloaf Mountain. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, September 5, 2006

By Barbara Nilson

Today only the cobblestone fireplace survives. (Photo: Ken Jensen.)

Today only the cobblestone fireplace survives. (Photo: Ken Jensen.)

In a previous article on Selleck, August 22nd, a resource said the “old cobblestone fireplace and chimney that serves as the deck of a mobile home may have been part of the camp’s cookhouse”… Not so says Mrs. Pat (Trumpour) Schaeffer, currently of Kangley.

Mrs. Schaefer moved to Selleck in 1939 when she was three years old. Her Grampa, William Trumpour, built the house where the stone fireplace still stands. He sold it around 1946 to Cliff Morris who added a room to the house and built the stone fireplace. Schaeffer recalled that Morris was wounded in the First World War and was crippled so they helped with getting the stones for the fireplace.

“I was about ten years old and my brother and I packed all those rocks from around the area. It was hard work,” she said. The house was later sold again and finally burned to the ground leaving only the stone fireplace. (more…)

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Originally published in the MVHS The Bugle, May 1999

By Margie Markus

Some things we remember about Selleck. I gathered some of my information from articles I have on Selleck. Some came from my memories and my mother’s memories (Eva Litras).

This school was destroyed by fire on December 31, 1929. (Photo courtesy of Art Van Bergeyk.) The “new” Selleck School was built in 1930 on the same site.

This school was destroyed by fire on December 31, 1929. (Photo courtesy of Art Van Bergeyk.) The “new” Selleck School was built in 1930 on the same site.

Growing up as a little girl I lived at Elkcoal (mining town). It was about five miles from the town of Selleck.

I have many fond memories of growing up in that area and going to school at Selleck grade school which had first to the eighth grade, and then to Enumclaw to high school.

The original schoolhouse suffered a devastating fire in 1929. It was rebuilt in 1930 on the same site and is currently being used as an office and shop. (more…)

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Originally published in the Enumclaw Courier, August 14, 1930

Enumclaw districtAside from logging and farming, coal mining is undoubtedly one of the oldest of commercial industries in the state of Washington, millions of dollars worth of this fuel has been removed from the land in this section of the state during the past fifty years.

During the past few years the coal mining industry has been lagging, competition of other fuel from other parts of the nation has done much to bring on this condition. And lack of proper home support has been responsible in a certain degree for this depletion of mining activity.

As a result of a concerted campaign on the part of organized business of the state, the mining industry appears to be on the verge of an unusual advance. Enumclaw will benefit much because of that advance and to bring home a greater realization of what the coal industry means to us the following contributed article has been prepared through the local business men. (more…)

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By C. William Thorndale

“Washington’s Green River Coal Co., 1880-1970,” Master’s Thesis, University of Washington, 1965 [extract]

Note: Morgan Morgans was the superintendant who came from Nortonville, California, with the settlers who came north in 1882.

Morgan Morgans, superintendent of the Black Diamond Coal Mining Co.

Morgan Morgans, superintendent of the Black Diamond Coal Mining Co.

Evidence suggests that Morgan Morgans held an extraordinary position, one that future superintendants found difficult to equal.

He, for all his dictatorial ways, was an expert engineer and ran his mines with an efficiency that the Oregon Improvement Company and later the Pacific Coast Coal Co., could not copy. In the 1891 strike he had been very tolerant of the secondary boycott of the miners and had avoided the drastic measures of the OIC. But the PCCC was different.

As soon as it bought Black Diamond, the management began calculating how to increase the rent profits and milk more out of the store owners. Later they introduced a company store and even company coupons. Never had the Black Diamond Company sought to drain away every cent of the miners’ pay but the PCCC did. (more…)

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Originally published in the Globe News, July 4, 1976

By Bill Smull

Torn photograph shows train, workers at old Durham Mine

Torn photograph shows train, workers at old Durham Mine

Steve Gustin sort of gets a kick out of people asking him where he’s from.

“I always say, ‘Elkcoal.’ And they always ask, ‘Where’s that?’ And I tell them, ‘Right across the road from Durham.’”

The confusion of those unfortunate newcomers who run into Steve Gustin can be excused; there are not a few long-time King County residents who aren’t even aware of the existence of Elkcoal, much less the long-abandoned mining community of Durham which once perched precariously on a hillside a few hundred yards from the ancient filling station and grocery owned by Steve and his wife, Vernalee.

The Elk and Durham mines both are long abandoned, leaving a few piles of rotting planks and beams and a huge pile of brush-choked slag as their only visible memorials. Most of the people—and even some of the houses—have scattered throughout the county. But even though all traces of mining activity have disappeared beneath second-growth forest, some old miners remain to remember the years of sweat and toil—and occasional terror—beneath the Cascade foothills. (more…)

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