Posts Tagged ‘hoist’

Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, December 26, 2006

By Barbara Nilson

Going down into the Spiketon Mine, circa 1916; A group out on a Sunday outing board a “man car” used to lower miners into an underground coal mine; 1st row: Ed Morris, unknown; 2nd row: Ruth Morris, Lena Morris; 3rd row: Nina Morris; unknown; 4th row: unknown, John Morris, unknown.

The first coal mined in the Pittsburg area of Pierce County occurred in the late 1880s. Geographically, the Pittsburg/Spiketon/Morristown area is located about 2 miles northeast of Wilkeson and about 2½ miles south of Buckley. Access can only be gained from Wilkeson if you have a four-wheel drive.

We were headed out to visit the site several years ago and were dissuaded by a sign stating it was a “wilderness road.”

So we whipped around to Buckley thinking we could find the site of the “old town” from that direction but were stymied when we came to the South Prairie Creek that separates the Buckley plateau from the coalfields.

The area was originally called Pittsburg, no doubt for the bustling steel and coal city in western Pennsylvania.

The name Spiketon came from a man named W.D.C. Spike who had opened up a coal prospect in the area in 1905 under the name of Pacific Coal & Oil Company whose prospect was called the Snell Mine. The Pacific Coal & Oil was a short-lived operation existing from 1905–1907. By 1908, W.D.C. Spike is listed as manager of the Coast Coal Company of Pittsburg where Abe Morris later went to work. (more…)

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Originally published in the BDHS newsletter, Fall 2020

By Bill Kombol

Dec.17, 1975 at 2:30 p.m. Residual smoke from a dynamite blast hovers while a group of coal miners inspect the Rogers No. 3 portal: John Streepy, Charles Anselmo, John Costanich, Tony Basselli, George Savicke, Bob Morris, Bill McLoughry. Dec. 1975 photo by Carl Falk.

At 2:30 p.m., on December 17, 1975, employees of Palmer Coking Coal Company (Palmer) placed dynamite within the portal entrance to the Rogers No. 3 mine. The subsequent explosion marked the closing of the state’s last underground coal mine, ending a significant chapter in the history of Washington.

The Rogers No. 3 entrance was located near the 262nd block of SE Kent-Kangley Road in Ravensdale, Washington. It was a continuation of the same mine accessed from the Rogers No. 1 and Rogers No. 2 portals where underground coal mining commenced in 1959 and 1960 respectively.

The Rogers coal seam crosses a gently sloping hill which reaches an elevation of 800 feet at the center of the mine. The hill descends north to the Summit-Landsburg Road and south towards Kent-Kangley. The seam was unique in mining history as the coal tilts almost straight up in places.

Coal was formed during the Eocene period about 35-55 million years ago, developing in beds comprised from thousands of years of decaying vegetation. In the Pacific Northwest uplift from the Cascade Range turned and twisted those sedimentary layers into pitching coal seams creating challenging mining conditions. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, February 25, 1926

Members of the Washington State Press Association, in their fourteenth Annual Institute in Seattle, are to be the guests of the Pacific Coast Coal Company on Saturday, February 27. They will visit Newcastle, where they will make a trip into Primrose Tunnel, after which they will inspect the Briquet Plant on their return to Seattle. The Pacific Coast Coal Company welcomes this opportunity to greet the representatives of the press.


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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, February 19, 1925

Tramways and aerial cables are common sights around metal mines, but it’s uncommon to find a coal mine with its entrance 450 feet below the level of the surrounding country. The above view shows the “incline” at Carbonado, a 35-degree pitch, down which all supplies and the daily shifts are lowered and raised.

Carbonado Comments

Carbonado victor in soccer battle

Battling the valiant Newcastle soccer eleven, the Carbonado squad last Sunday put up such a fight that the score ended 4 to 0, with the Carbon lads on the long end. Carbonado played a fast game.

Newcastle put up a fair defense, but with a number of new men, and also handicapped by a recent period of idleness, the Coal Creek team could make little headway against the strong Carbon defense. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, April 28, 1924

This photo is from the 1925 P.T.A. visit to Briquetville, near today's Gene Coulon Park.

This photo is from the 1925 P.T.A. visit to Briquetville, near today’s Gene Coulon Park.

Briquet Plant data of interest to you

This plant was opened in 1914 and has run continuously since that time. It operates two shifts of eight hours each and produces five hundred tons of briquets a day. That means that over one and one-half million briquets are made each day.

Camp welcomes you

Through Mrs. Julius Johnson, president Newcastle Circle of the Parent-Teacher Association, its membership numbering 51, joins with the entire camp and the company officials in welcoming the visiting P.T.A. members of King County today. We want you to see the mine and the camp of which we are so proud, and when you leave us, above all, we want you to remember your trip to Newcastle and that your return will be welcomed.

The briquets are made from a combination of Black Diamond and South Prairie coals. The first of these give it its free burning quality and low ash and the last, a coking coal, gives it its strength and fire holding power. The binder used is a specially prepared form of asphalt from which the stickiness has been removed.

The trip through the plant will be in the direction in which the coal is run, beginning at the point where the raw coal is received and ending at the point where the finished briquet goes into the railroad cars.

First, will be seen the unloading hoppers through which the fresh coal will be flowing from the railroad cars. From here the coal goes to the top of the high timber structure known as the “Raw coal bunker.” Through this it is fed down by gravity and in the exact proportion required into the two steel box conveyors which run from this bunker into the steel building ahead, known as the “Dryer Building.”

Before leaving the raw coal bunker, by stepping up the first flight of steps may be seen the “measuring” conveyors which portion out the two grades of coal as the housewife measures the ingredients of a cake. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, April 10, 1924

Not all gangs which go underground at Black Diamond are bent upon breaking all known hoist records. Evidence of this is seen in the group above which one Sunday recently explored the depths of the mine, guided by Mine Foreman Theo. Rouse.

The party was arranged by Frank Bergman, mine storekeeper, who was also the photographer, which explains his absence from the group. Those in the picture are: J.E. Clarkin, Joe Malo, Mrs. J.E. Clarkin, Miss Margaret Malo, Al A. Bergman, Theo. Rouse, Miss Gilbert Malo, N S. Bergman, and Miss Theresa Malo. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, March 13, 1924

Quality first, whether it be Holstein dairy cattle or Black Diamond coal, is the policy pursued in Everett by C.O. Hilen, district sales manager for the Pacific Coast Coal Company.

Everett is the metropolis for the rich dairy country of Snohomish County, and in the attractive window display shown above, Mr. Hilen stresses very graphically the importance of quality. Though hardly distinguishable in the above halftone, the scene depicts a diminutive milker seated on a Diamond Briquet by the side of the life-like cow at the left. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, May 17, 1923

Toonerville trolley

Toonerville trolley

Guided by the accommodating hand of Supt. J.J. Jones, the editor of the Bulletin was conducted through Black Diamond Mine last Friday, May 11, and initiated into the mysteries of digging coal.

Down on the 12th Level, in Chute No. 1, on the South Side, J.D. Walton gave a demonstration of how a pick is used in digging, while up at the face in the gangway some of the boys were busy with a jack hammer, driving the gangway still further along the seam.

At the 11th Level Pete Kurth, cager, was found on the job, busy with the constant string of trips coming and going. Going on up to the 9th, the trip was made on the “Toonerville Trolley”—the auxiliary hoist between the 12th and 7th Levels used until the 12th Level is developed extensively enough to permit the switching of the main trip. (more…)

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Originally published in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, August 12, 1888

A community where constables and officers of the law are not needed—Remarkable progress and substantial prosperity

Drawing of Franklin, circa 1887.

Drawing of Franklin, circa 1887.

Probably the majority of the readers of the Post-Intelligencer have never inspected a coal mine or visited a town where coal mining was the exclusive industry. They have, therefore, necessarily but an imperfect knowledge of a large and very excellent class of the working population of this territory, and especially of King County.

A representative of this paper visited Franklin, in this county, a day or two ago and made some observations which may be of general interest. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, January 18, 1923

charlie-gallagherCharley Gallagher, occupying the place of honor in the picture herewith, began his career with the Pacific Coast Coal Company at Newcastle when he was 13 years old. Charley was then an oiler, but through the years he mastered the intricacies of the machinery of the hoist room and today finds him operating the company’s big electric hoist at Black Diamond. (more…)

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