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Posts Tagged ‘Northern Pacific Railroad’

Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, March 6, 2007

By Barbara Nilson

The original depot at Kanaskat built in 1912 and destroyed by fire in 1943. — From the Museum of History and Industry and loaned by Ruth Eckes.

The old railroad towns of Palmer and Kanaskat once thrived across the Green River from each other, Palmer on the north and Kanaskat on the south; eight miles southeast of Enumclaw. Somewhere along the line the two lost their identities. Apparently, the post office located in Palmer burned and the authorities moved it to Kanaskat but left the name of Palmer. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, January 23, 2007

By Barbara Nilson

The town of Fairfax, declared the “prettiest mining town around,” showing the turn-table at the extreme right above center. Mine buildings are in front and the school is on the left. Carbon River runs through the trees at the top or the photo. (Original copy from Mr. and Mrs. Tony Basselli.) Photo courtesy of Steve Meitzler, Heritage Quest Press, Orting, WA., publisher of the book, Carbon River Coal Country.

Riding the Northern Pacific Railroad to the upper end of the Carbon River Canyon or tooling along to Mount Rainier in a Model T, tourists would pass close to three mining towns: Melmont, Fairfax, and Montezuma.

First, beyond Carbonado, was Melmont, situated between the Carbon River and the NPR line. A bridge spanning the Carbon River ran between the company hotel and the saloon with the depot and school on the hillside above. On the left end of the bridge was the road connecting to Fairfax. This bridge was nearly a little beyond the high bridge which spans the canyon today. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, January 9, 2007

By Barbara Nilson

The remodeled company store for the Pacific Coast Coal Co. built around 1890 in Burnett now houses the "Pinch Plum" gift shop.

The remodeled company store for the Pacific Coast Coal Co. built around 1890 in Burnett now houses the “Pinch Plum” gift shop. — Photo by Barbara Nilson.

In 1891 the former mining town of Burnett, located about two and a half miles from Wilkeson and 6 miles from Enumclaw, estimated its population at 400 people. Today possibly less than 100 people live in the 32 homes with water hookups. Some of the homes are still the miner’s cottages from the turn of the century when it was an important coal-mining center.

It was situated on the Burnett branch of the Northern Pacific railroad and was sustained by the mines of Pacific Coast Coal Co. that employed around 300 men. There were several business places in upper Burnett, including the company store, which has been remodeled into The Pinch Plum gift shop by Jay and Dailene Argo. Argo, who bought the building in 1977, said he tried to keep the building as authentic as possible. (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 Daily Times, October 28, 1925

Smashing a stolen bandit car stalled on railway tracks near Kanaskat, a Northern Pacific train scattered loot for several hundred feet along the right of way last night. Joe Bertelli, grocer of Kangley, identified ham, hominy, and other articles as his property, taken from his store a few hours before.

Deputy Sheriff Tom Smith of Enumclaw, who investigated the burglary, reported the bandits’ automobile was a stolen car taken from Seattle nearly a month ago. Search is being made for the fugitive.

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Originally published in the North Kittitas County Tribune, September 26, 2019

By Sue Litchfield

General Mine Manager John Kangley was a self-made man, an Irish orphan who made his way to the United States In the mid-1800s. At 45 years old, he was appointed general mine manager of the Northern Pacific Coal Company in Roslyn and served from 1888 to 1896. During that same time he also managed the Star Coal Company in Streator, Illinois, and owned the Kangley Mine near Ravensdale, Washington. Photo courtesy of Streator Times Press.

ROSLYN—This marks the fourth in the series of articles about early Roslyn history based on research at Northern Pacific archives in St. Paul, Minnesota. In the early years, Roslyn’s coal mining company was the Northern Pacific Coal Company (NPCC), owned and operated by the railroad. Following a major restructuring of the company in 1896, NPCC became the Northwestern Improvement Company (NWI), a subsidiary of the railroad.

John Kangley, who simultaneously served as general manager of two different coal companies, had two company towns named for him, owned coal mines in Western Washington, and invented one of the first ever coal mining machines.

Mob rule in Roslyn

The Dec. 30, 1888, telegram sent from Tacoma had a note of urgency to it.

“In taking the new drivers to Roslyn this afternoon [No. 3 Mine Superintendent] Ronald and Williamson were surrounded and knocked senseless by strikers…”

Roslyn had been a hotbed of contention since the Knights of Labor had gone on strike August 11, 1888. Ten days later, the Northern Pacific Railroad had brought in African American coal miners to finish development of their No. 3 Mine in Ronald.

Then on Christmas Day, 100 mule drivers went on strike, which effectively shut down their Roslyn operations, In response, Superintendent Ronald brought 10 African American mule drivers from Ronald to Roslyn, and all hell broke loose.

“…several new men badly used up,” continued the telegram addressed to Kangley, “and mob rule reigns in Roslyn tonight.” (more…)

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Originally published in the MVHS Bugle, September and December 2006

By Barbara Nilson

JoAnn (Weibling) Klacson and Lois (Kelley) Bartholomew on a July visit to the MVHS museum. —Photo by Sherrie Acker

In July, JoAnn Weibling Klacsan visited the historical society’s Third Floor Museum, accompanied by her niece, Diane Lee Weibling, and chatted with Dick Peacock and Sherrie Acker about Kerriston. Neighbors of them were the Kelley girls, so Lois (Kelley) Bartholomew joined them at the museum to share memories.

The conversation was taped and part of it follows. In addition, Lois graciously, with a little arm twisting, allowed me to use part of the story she has written about growing up in Kerriston.

Klacsan recalled that all the houses in Kerriston in 1923 had underpinnings, and were all built on a side hill. “We had a porch with a lot of stairs and a nice view. The houses were shacks, all the same about 16′ x 18′. Close to the school there was a set of wooden steps that went down to the level below and us kids used to run down those steps.” (more…)

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