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Posts Tagged ‘mules’

Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, October 18, 1895

The slope is stopped up

Franklin mines continue to be the scene of excitement—every effort was made to rescue the four unfortunate men without avail

The bodies of the four men known to have perished in the slope fire yesterday at the Franklin coal mines have not been recovered and the fire has not yet been extinguished, although the flames have been got under control and the slope closed up with timbers, sand, and dirt.

Of the men dead, full mention of whom was made in the 5 o’clock edition of last evening’s Times, John Glover was a white man and George W. Smalley, John Adams, and James Stafford were colored men, Smalley leaving a wife and child and Adams and Stafford being single men. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, August 9, 1923

If hard work and persistent effort is worth anything at all, the Black Diamond Mine Rescue and First Aid Team, under the leadership of Capt. B.F. Snook, is going to be a real contender for honors at the big inter-camp meet in Newcastle on August 18. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, May 20, 1904

Pacific Coast Co. to put in third rail electric system soon

Change planned for Black Diamond, Gem, and Coal Creek properties

‘Bess’ the mule was employed at the Pacific Coast Co.'s Cannon mine in Franklin. In 1914 the Seattle Star exposed how mules at the mine were required to work 24 hours a day and never allowed outside. The Humane Society eventually ‘arrested’ Bess, releasing her for needed rest and forage outside the mine.

‘Bess’ the mule was employed at the Pacific Coast Co.’s Cannon mine in Franklin. In 1914 the Seattle Star exposed how mules at the mine were required to work 24 hours a day and never allowed outside. The Humane Society eventually ‘arrested’ Bess, releasing her for needed rest and forage.

The Pacific Coast Company will probably substitute a third rail electric system for mule trains in Black Diamond and Gem mines. The third rail system will also supplant the overhead trolley in the Coal Creek mines of the company.

The first change will be made at the Coal Creek mines, where a piece of road will be built by the company to demonstrate the value of the third rail system. It has been tried successfully in other mines and proved entirely satisfactory, but before the company takes up the plan as a substitute for other systems a thorough test will be made. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, October 17, 2006

By Barbara Nilson

Durham coal mine, August 1919 (Special Collections, University of Washington Libraries). This photo depicts the mine tipple and coal bunkers at the town of Durham in 1919, shortly before its acquisition by Morris Brother Coal Mining Company Inc. The Durham Colliery Company sold the entire town to Morris Brothers in 1922. This photo was shot from a perch on a coal slag pile that still exists to this day, looking across the Kanaskat-Kangley Road and the railroad tracks visible in the lower foreground. (Photo from Bill Kombol’s collection, Palmer Coking Coal Company.)

Durham coal mine, August 1919 (Special Collections, University of Washington Libraries). This photo depicts the mine tipple and coal bunkers at the town of Durham in 1919, shortly before its acquisition by Morris Brothers Coal Mining Company Inc. The Durham Colliery Company sold the entire town to Morris Brothers in 1922. This photo was shot from a perch on a coal slag pile that still exists to this day, looking across the Kanaskat-Kangley Road and the railroad tracks visible in the lower foreground. (Photo from Bill Kombol’s collection, Palmer Coking Coal Company.)

There is nothing left of the mining town of Durham, once located in southeast King County near the town of Selleck, but it still exists in the minds of Valleyites who grew up there.

The Durham Colliery (English for coal mines and its buildings) was originally organized by Peter Kirk in 1886 to supply coal for the projected Kirkland steel mill. Durham was named for a town in Kirk’s native north England. Production was started in 1888 but coal was only mined until 1889. In 1910, the mines were started again and coal was produced throughout WWI. The mines and associated mining facilities, i.e. hotel, bunkers and company houses, were sold as one unit to the Morris brothers. (more…)

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By JoAnne Matsumura

Ernest Moore was born in the coal-mining town of Franklin, Wash. "If there's any other job, you'd be better off taking that other job." (Greg Gilbert / Seattle Times)

Ernest Moore was born in the coal-mining town of Franklin, Wash. “If there’s any other job, you’d be better off taking that other job.” (Greg Gilbert / Seattle Times)

He was an owner of a coal mine, a pump man, and a mule skinner; he was a proficient shoeshine boy and a gracious porter; he picked moss and ferns and cut logs in the woods; and he served on a rescue team at the Gorge and as an Army quartermaster during World War II.

He once took a job in a foundry and another paving asphalt roads; he had two children and was a father figure to 30 more; he was an interesting storyteller—and he even wrote a book about it all.

He was Ernest “Ernie” Roy Moore, Sr., an African-American, third generation coal miner who was born in Franklin, Washington, on May 5, 1912. (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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