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Posts Tagged ‘Lake Boren’

Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, March 20, 2007

By Barbara Nilson

Pacific Coast Coal Co. morning shift poses sitting on electric engines and empty coal cars outside the boarding house in Rainbow Town. The coal bunkers are in the background with the small hose-coal bunker to the right of the rear of the line of coal cars. A track straightener is in the foreground. — 1909 Asahel Curtis photo, courtesy of the Washington State Historical Society, Tacoma, and Bill Kombol, Palmer Coking Coal Co.

Milt Swanson is a historical treasure. He is a walking, talking encyclopedia with fascinating tales of his home town Newcastle/Coal Creek. He’s lived on the same piece of property for 84 years in a company house, on top of a mine shaft and next to the former company hotel and saloon. Across the street was Finn Town and the up the hill was Red Town.

He said when he was a kid, his pals and him named the various areas of the mining camp. The houses on the hill were red, so that was “Red Town”; closer to him the houses were white so naturally that was “White Town” and the area with all different colors was “Rainbow Village.” (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, June 30, 1940

The stubborn fire near Hobart, twenty-five miles east of Seattle, which is believed to have been set by a firebug early last week, burned on unabated last night over an area of almost 1,800 acres of cutover land while weary crews battled to keep it within present confines.

Immediately threatened are the huge stands of virgin timber near and on Seattle’s Cedar River watershed. The flames licked their way into this first-growth timber in several spots late yesterday and only by hard work were the crews able to check their spread. (more…)

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Originally published in the Globe News, July 4, 1976

By Eric Payne

Coal company bulletin: ‘The weakness of the trade union ...’

Coal company bulletin: ‘The weakness of the trade union …’

The world needed more energy.

Working men needed more money.

The world decided coal would suit its need nicely.

Working men decided trade unions were the means to a higher standard of living.

So the irresistible force met the immovable object—and South King County was one of the battlegrounds.

Some old men still remember the war. Today we live in small houses in North Renton, in homes nestled among the trees in Coalfield and Newcastle and Kangley, in shacks outside of Black Diamond. They were the front lines. (more…)

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Originally published in Eastsideweek, November 24, 1993

By David B. Buerge

Black lung, long hours, and stinking low pay: While the coal-mining business boomed on the Eastside, the underground life was a bust

Coal Creek Mine

On a mid-August night in 1929, residents of Coal Creek, west of Issaquah, watched a red glow fill the northern sky. As the ruddy light shifted and flared, miners about to go down for the graveyard shift deep in the Primrose Mine wondered aloud if Kirkland might be on fire.

But the lift bringing them back out of the mine at 7:30 that morning was more than a mile away from the entrance they’d used the night before. It was then they realized that the fire was much closer than Kirkland. They had their first look at the smoking timbers of the Pacific Coast Coal Co.’s coal bunkers and washery, which had tumbled in a charred ruin on the railroad tracks to Seattle.

Their hearts sank. (more…)

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Originally published in the Valley Daily News, October 23, 1994

By Nathalie Overland

Voters in new city will pick name, with a look back at historic roots

Pam Lee, elected to the city council in the new city, has a number of historic buildings from historic Newcastle on her land. (Valley Daily News photo by Matt Hagen.)

Pam Lee, elected to the city council in the new city, has a number of historic buildings from historic Newcastle on her land. (Valley Daily News photo by Matt Hagen.)

A walk around Pam Lee’s historic “Newcastle” home is like treading on history.

A century-old house stands as silent testimony to a time when men were proud to burrow out coal—the black gold—from the bowels of the earth.

Across the street is the final resting place of a collapsed tipple, a monstrous wooden structure that once served as a terminal to unload and clean coal.

Down another path is the gaping mouth of a mine shaft. Rendered off limits by a massive grate, the shaft now serves as a backup water supply for neighbors.

“We’ve tried to keep this valley intact so that its integrity is protected,” said Pam Lee. (more…)

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