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Posts Tagged ‘Lake Washington’

Originally published in the Voice of Valley, May 16, 2006

By Barbara Nilson

In 1920 Fred Habenicht, holding a hand saw, supervised the unloading of the new hydraulic mine motor vehicle or pulling loaded mine cars from water level tunnel to the Continental Coal Co. bunker (in the background). It replaced mules in the mine. Miners are: 18-year-old Vern Habenicht; Bob Kingen Sr., Frenchy Ferdinand Maigre; Evor Morgan, holding the chain; and onlooker Bill Baldwin. (Photo—Habenicht collection from Ravensdale Reflections book)

Before the turn of the 20th century, coal seams ran from the shores of Lake Washington to the foot of the Cascade mountains leading to the establishment of towns at the mine sites, some of which are still in existence, i.e., Renton, Black Diamond, Cumberland, Issaquah, Wilkeson, and Ravensdale. Some linger in memory only, i.e., Franklin, Elk, Bayne, Durham, Danville, Eddyville, Taylor, and Landsburg.

From the year 1888 through 1967, there were an amazing 232 coal seams being tapped in King County and operated by 157 different companies. (more…)

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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 Renton Historical Society & Museum Quarterly, December 2012

By Kent Sullivan

Northern Pacific depot in Renton, circa 1912. (RHM# 41.0568)

I live in Kirkland, am a member of the Northern Pacific Railway Historical Association (NPRHA), and am an avid researcher of the Northern Pacific’s (NP) line along the east side of Lake Washington, known as the Lake Washington Belt Line and, for much of its history, the 11th Subdivision of the Tacoma Division.

I became especially interested in the Renton area after I became the latest custodian of the train order signal that hung on the Renton depot for almost 70 years at the corner of 5th Street and Burnett Avenue. I assumed the story of the Renton depot would be very simple and was surprised to find it was a bit complicated, and thought that readers of this newsletter might enjoy hearing what I learned. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Sunday Times, June 19, 1910

R.P. Price, on Sunday exploring expedition, discovers new route to Renton, with good roads all the way

Passes one machine between two cities: Trip circles Lake Washington, by way of Newcastle and Coal Creek, where automobiles are novelty

A new scenic drive, a few miles from the heart of the city, has been discovered by R.P. Price. He says that for a short run it is the best he has yet seen. Few motorists seem to be aware of its existence. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, June 18, 1925

More than a mile from the entrance to the tunnel, the Bulletin photographer secured this picture in the Carbonado Mine when the Bruiser Seam was visited by a party of newspaper men last Monday. At the extreme left Supt S.H. Ash is seen telling Nettie Gilpatrick to watch the two miners, if she wants to learn how to dig coal. There being no gas in this tunnel, open flame lights are employed. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, June 11, 1925

This photo is from the 1925 P.T.A. tour.

More than four hundred Seattle women, members of the Parent-Teacher Associations of the city, spent one hour and 25 minutes at the Briquet Plant of the Pacific Coast Coal Company last Monday. They were enroute to the Newcastle Mine, but the special train of six coaches stopped at the Briquet Plant long enough to enable Supt. Geo. N. Calkins and Foreman Clarence Gorst to show them the entire intricate process of manufacturing Diamond Briquets.

After following the raw Black Diamond and South Prairie coal through the plant to where it emerged a perfectly blended fuel in the form of briquets, the party paused by this storage pile of 12,000 tons to have its picture taken. (more…)

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Originally published in the Puget Sound Electric Journal, Month unknown, 1919

By L.R. Grant

Coal Creek Mine bunkers, washers, etc.

What will eventually be one of our most important coal mine contracts was recently signed with the Pacific Coast Coal Company. It provides for all electrical power requirements of the briquetting and coal-crushing plants at Briquetville, near Renton, the mine at Coal Creek, near Newcastle, and the mine at Issaquah. The new contract will supersede the old contract at the briquet plant at once, and later on our existing contract at Issaquah. The rate is our regular rate for coal mines, Schedule C-15, Tariff No. 10.

The briquet plant and the mine at Issaquah have previously been described in the Journal. Coal Creek Mine is about five miles northeast of our Renton substation in a direct line, and about three miles east of Lake Washington, on a branch of the Columbia & Puget Sound Railway. The town of Newcastle, where most of the miners live, is less than a mile northwest of the mine. This coal field was one of the first to be developed in the State of Washington and has been worked almost continuously since its first opening. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, May 28, 1925

Black Diamond justly feels proud of its splendid baseball park and athletic field, with its commodious grandstand and band pavilion. Both the infield and the outfield are grass sod, making it a very fast diamond. Within the park enclosure is a large grove of trees providing facilities for picnic parties, and back of the grandstand tennis courts are being constructed.

All of the work in the park was performed by volunteers, making it in the fullest sense a community enterprise. This picture was taken on the day of the opening game, when Black Diamond and the Seattle Briquets played 16 innings before the contest ended with a score of 2 to 1 in favor of the Seattle nine. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, January 24, 1915

Pacific Coast Company now using South Prairie products in plant

Diamond BriquetsFollowing the successful introduction of Black Diamond coal briquets, the Pacific Coast Coal Company has just placed upon the market a new briquet, made from the coal of the South Prairie mines. Both kinds of briquets are the product of the company’s $225,000 briquetting plant, completed just a few months ago at Briquetville, on the south shore of Lake Washington.

The coal is ground fine, washed, heated, and mixed with liquid asphalt; then stamped into briquets under a pressure of more than two tons to the square inch. In briquet form the fine furnace coal is adapted much better to household use.

Each Black Diamond briquet is marked with a diamond, and each of the new South Prairie briquets with an “N,” as a distinguishing mark.

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Originally published in the Eastside Journal, July 27, 1999

By Tim Larson
Journal reporter

A Newcastle coal train, fatally sidetracked 125 years ago, will spend at least one more winter at the bottom of Lake Washington.

An effort to rescue one of the historic coal cars, led last year by Newcastle Councilman John Dulcich and Councilwoman Pam Lee, is now on the back burner.

“Really, it’s on hold right now,” Dulcich said. “We still plan to do it, but we have other priorities right now.” (more…)

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