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Posts Tagged ‘Hiawatha mine’

Originally published in the MVHS’s The Bugle, October 1994

Eva Litras fondly tells that five generations of her family have grown up in the Selleck area.

Eva Litras fondly tells that five generations of her family have grown up in the Selleck area.

A “love affair” with Selleck was evident at the reunion September 18 at the old grade school. Amandus Carlyle Butcher summed up the emotional attachment to the old sawmill town: “I love this country.”

Butcher went to all the first eight grades in Selleck and said it was the best place in the world to grow up.

His dad built the Kangley tavern in 1927 and ran it until 1932 while working days at the sawmill. Butcher hasn’t moved very far away, residing in Maple Valley. (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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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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