Posts Tagged ‘Franklin #1’

Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, October 3, 1906

September shows big increase for Pacific Coast Co. despite fact that working days were somewhat reduced

The Pacific Coast Company’s mines during September produced approximately 74,000 tons of coal, the largest output the company has had in a single month during its history. September beat the August record, despite the fact that there were three less working days during the month just closed. In August the company’s mines produced 71,700 tons and in July there was produced 67,500 tons. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, May 13, 1904

General Manager Ford ends negotiations in southern city

J.C. Ford

J.C. Ford

Rich coal deposits on C. & P. S. Ry. transferred for $1,000,000

SAN FRANCISCO, Friday, May 13 — J.C. Ford, general manager of the Pacific Coast Company, has been in this city for some days negotiating with President H.H. Taylor for the purchase of the Black Diamond coal mines on Puget Sound.

This afternoon at the office of the Black Diamond Company a representative of The Times was told that the deal had been closed. The price named was $1,000,000. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, May 1, 1904

Deal the largest ever consummated in the State of Washington

Million dollars to be paid by purchasers for the fuel fields

The Black Diamond coal mines are to be sold to the Pacific Coast Company, $1,000,000 being paid for the properties. Negotiations for the acquirement of the coal lands and workings, which have been in progress for nearly four months, are practically completed and the formal transfer will be made within a few days.

This is the largest deal ever made in this state involving coal lands, and will give the Pacific Coast Company a total production of 2,500 tons daily. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, March 29, 1922

By Geo. Watkin Evans, consulting coal mining engineer, Seattle

George Watkin Evans (1876-1951), 1924 Courtesy Seattle and Environs

George Watkin Evans, 1924

Pacosco, as it is now called, was formerly Franklin. This district was first opened on the banks of Green River on the McKay Coal Seam about 1885. The railroad was extended from Black Diamond in order to develop this coal area.

Originally, Franklin Mine was opened by a drift driven on the McKay Coal at bunker level above the old railroad grade. Later a water level gangway was driven from the edge of Green River and the coal hoisted up an incline on the surface and dumped over the same tipple as that from the upper level. Later a slope was sunk on another bed which underlies the McKay and all of the coal below the original bunker level was hauled through this opening.

Numerous slopes were sunk at Franklin and also one shaft was developed. Most of the coal was mined from the McKay Bed but some was also mined from two underlying beds, the Number Twelve and the Number Ten. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, November 18, 2008

Franklin 1902

By Bill Kombol

This photo was taken at the entrance to the Franklin No. 1 coal mine at the town of Franklin on February 19, 1902.

The coal miner who is shown was called a “rope rider” as he would ride the coal cars pulled by a steel cable (the “rope”) into and out of the mine.

At the bottom of the mine the rope rider would couple the cable to the coal car and then ride the car to the outside portal (i.e. entrance) to the mine. There he would uncouple the loaded coal car so that it could be dumped into the surface preparation plant (the tipple) where the coal would be sorted to different sizes and processed. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, June 3, 2008

TopworksBy Bill Kombol

This is a view of the newly installed overhead track, bunkers, and topworks of the Franklin No. 1 coal mine in Franklin, Washington, circa 1902.

The small figures in lower left corner are two men walking along the tracks of the Columbia & Puget Sound Railroad.

In the early days of coal mining it was important to bring the coal out of the mine and get it to a sufficient height so as to allow gravity to be an important tool in the subsequent processing of the coal.

This tipple, as it was called, allowed coal to be brought out of the mine in coal cars to the top of the bunkers. There, the coal would be dumped into picking tables and vibrating screens which sorted the coal into different sizes for market. Then the sorted coal would be gravity conveyed to hoppers for temporary storage before being loaded onto the open gondola rail cars of the day.

The No. 1 mine operated on the Fulton coal seam as well as several others, and was one of the most productive coal mines in Franklin. Most of the coal from the Franklin mines of the late 1890s and early 1900s would have traveled the tracks of the Columbia & Puget Sound through Black Diamond, Maple Valley, and Renton on the way to coal markets in Seattle.

Photo by Curtis & Romans – negative number 1052, courtesy of Washington State Historical Society, Tacoma.

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Originally published in the Black Diamond Bulletin, Fall 2013

By Byron Wicks

Herman Wicks and Emma Iljana were married in Franklin.

Herman Wicks and Emma Iljana were married in Franklin.

My grandfather, Herman Oscar Wiikus (changed to Wicks), was born in Laihia, Finland, in 1874 and emigrated to the US in 1901.

Times were difficult in the Ostrobothnian area of Finland in the 1890s and early 1900s, forcing thousands of Finns to emigrate to the U.S. and Canada. The details of how Herman arrived in Washington State are unknown.

He ended up in Franklin, working in the coal mines with some other Finnish immigrants as well as immigrants from other countries. He was a single man, but would not remain so for long.

Herman, S. Matson, A. Mattila, and O. Wiitala advertised for wives in Lannetar, a Finnish language newspaper in October 1901.

“We are marriage-hungry bachelors who want wives. Old maids and sprightly widows, your letters are welcome. Playing is forbidden, joking is allowed. Pictures can’t accompany the first letters, that’s too quick,” they wrote.

I don’t know if this is how my grandparents got together, but in 1902, he and my grandmother, Emma Iljana (from Hailuoto, Finland), born in 1882, were married in Franklin. (more…)

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If you’d like to learn more about the coal mining town of Franklin during its peak, 1885 until 1919, we’ve got you covered. Here you’ll find a list of web resources (and a couple of books and a thesis, too) that will quickly get you up to speed.

Top works of the Franklin mine.

Top works of the Franklin mine.

The next Franklin tours are tentatively scheduled for 2021. Come to the Black Diamond Museum at noon to sign up and for orientation. We’ll be leaving at 10 a.m. for Franklin (about three miles). A $5 donation per adult is suggested. Seniors, veterans, and children under 12 are free.

Bring boots, an umbrella, and an imagination. (more…)

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