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Posts Tagged ‘Franklin #10’

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, April 1, 2014

By Bill Kombol

This photo by Vic Condiotty shows the explosion seconds after the detonation which shuttered the mine and destroyed the bridge.

This photo by Vic Condiotty shows the explosion seconds after the detonation which shuttered the mine and destroyed the bridge.

On March 27, 1971, the last coal mine on the Green River Gorge was blasted shut with powerful explosives supplied by a division of Rocket Research based in Redmond.

Coal miners, company officials, explosive experts, and the press gathered on the banks of the Green River as 900 pounds of the experimental dynamite, called Astrolite K, was placed inside the mine portal and on the mine bridge across the river.

Coal was first extracted near the Green River in 1885 at the town of Franklin. Mining boomed until the early 1920s, and continued sporadically through the 1960s. The Franklin No. 10 mine was opened by Palmer Coking Coal Company in 1964 and produced over 66,000 tons of coal during its seven years of operation. (more…)

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Originally published in the BDHS Bulletin, Summer 2015

By William Kombol

Cover photo of Franklin Hot Springs by R. Curnow, circa 1984 cropped from the cover page of “Everyone’s Guide to Hot Springs of Western Washington: A complete guide to over 250 Hot Springs and Soda Pop Springs” by Jesse W. Love, copyright 1985 by Jesse W. Love, published by Kaleidoscope Publications, Inc. Bellevue, WA 98005.

Cover photo of Franklin Hot Springs by R. Curnow, circa 1984, cropped from the cover page of “Everyone’s Guide to Hot Springs of Western Washington: A complete guide to over 250 Hot Springs and Soda Pop Springs,” by Jesse W. Love, copyright 1985 by Jesse W. Love, published by Kaleidoscope Publications, Inc. Bellevue, WA 98005.

The Franklin #12 underground coal mine began operations in the mid-1950s. It operated on the Franklin No. 12 coal seam, sometimes known as the Fulton seam. There are seventeen coal seams in the Franklin series, the most famous of which was the No. 14, better known as the McKay. Another heavily mined seam was the No. 14 known as the Gem.

Most of the mining at Franklin was done on the Black Diamond west side of the Green River. However, the eastern extension of the Franklin #12 mine was accessed from a log bridge across the Green River then driven southeast all the way under the Enumclaw-Franklin Road, a total of about 4,000 feet. (more…)

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Originally published in the Enumclaw Courier-Herald, Thursday, April 1, 1971

An overturned coal car is still in the Green River.

An overturned coal car is still in the Green River.

The “end of an era” exploded along the narrow canyon walls of the Green River Gorge last Saturday when officials of the Explosives Corporation of America silenced once and for always the rumble of ore cars from the Number 10 Franklin coal mine near Black Diamond.

“It’s like watching your life’s work go up in smoke,” commented John Maks of Black Diamond, a miner for the past 43 years. “It’s not so bad for me, I’m ready to give it up, but the younger fellows might find it rough. How many ads do you see for coal miners these days?” Maks said, as he surveyed the aftermath of the blast which closed the mine tunnel the air shaft and sent the 110-foot log bridge which spanned the gorge into the river below. (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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