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Posts Tagged ‘Lake Washington Coal Co.’

Prepared for the membership of the PNR-NMRA, September 13, 1958

By H.A. Durfy

Coal—black diamonds—a source of heat, light, power, medicines, and many more products too numerous to mention here. This was the beginning of the Pacific Coast R.R. Co., upon which you are riding today. Of course, like other railroads, the Pacific Coast R.R. Co. was not always known by the present title, and we want to lead you through the background and the beginnings of the railroad. (more…)

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Originally published in the Railway & Marine News, January 1916

The opening of the first coal mine on the far western slope of the United States, and the building of Seattle’s first railway

By I.W. Rodgers, of the Pacific Coast Coal Company
All photos courtesy Vivian Carkeek

Seattle Coal & Transportation Company’s coal bunkers, at the foot of Pike Street. Note the wilderness north of Pike. These bunkers were built in 1872, and much to the surprise of Seattle, collapsed into the bay one Sunday morning in the late ‘70s. The vessel loading coal is one of the early side-wheelers.

Seattle Coal & Transportation Company’s coal bunkers, at the foot of Pike Street. Note the wilderness north of Pike. These bunkers were built in 1872, and much to the surprise of Seattle, collapsed into the bay one Sunday morning in the late ‘70s. The vessel loading coal is one of the early side-wheelers.

Now that the oldest coal mine on the Pacific slope of the United States has just celebrated its half-century of useful service to the people of the Northwest it is interesting to turn the pages of pioneer history back to the early days and review the conditions amid which one of the state of Washington’s great industries of today had its beginnings. As a sequel to the opening of that first mine Washington has become one of the important coal producing states.

Newcastle is a famous name in the coal mining world, so it is fitting that this first mine in Washington should have been so named, and for fifty years Newcastle coal has been a standard for domestic use upon the Pacific Coast. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, December 1, 1928

No, this is not Newcastle. This is Seattle as it looked the year of its first cargo of coal from Newcastle, 1866. The picture was taken on Main Street, looking north on First Avenue. Lots of parking space and no traffic signals.

No, this is not Newcastle. This is Seattle as it looked the year of its first cargo of coal from Newcastle, 1866. The picture was taken on Main Street, looking north on First Avenue. Lots of parking space and no traffic signals.

Situated in a cozy little village, snug, jaunty, rolling its tonnage out behind modern electric haulage motors, cleaning and sizing in an up-to-date efficient washing plant, it is hard to think of Newcastle as a Pioneer.

It is difficult to realize that long before most of us were born Newcastle was furnishing fuel for the forge and warmth for the homes in the Northwest.

There is something staunch and splendid about an industry that played such a big part in the early days of Seattle, and still progresses, hand in hand, with the city she helped to mold. Newcastle has been the home, the hope, and the livelihood of a generation now gone and looks good enough to last a few more generations. (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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