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Posts Tagged ‘Occidental’

Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, September 23, 1910

Blow of pick pours torrent into Occidental Mine No. 3 at Palmer, ruining coal workings

Heroes volunteer to save unlucky workman

George Brinn doomed, if not already dead, despite efforts to reach victim of rising water

Rising on the slope at the rate of eight inches an hour, water from an underground river which was tapped by the pick of George Brinn, a miner, has completely flooded Occidental Mine No. 3 at Palmer, King County, and now stands at ninety feet on the slope. Brinn is missing and doubtless lost his life when the flood descended on him and in the heroic effort of fellow miners to rescue him dead or alive, two of them, Pit Boss William Barringer and Abner Farmer, a miner, just escaped drowning. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Sunday Times, August 2, 1908

By “W.T.P.”

Suppose you were a policeman with a beat of 700 square miles.

Suppose this included sixteen coal mining towns, where the rough element predominated, and fights, murders, and all sorts of crimes succeeded each other so rapidly that you hardly had a breathing space between.

Suppose you were the only officer of the law in all this district, and that your hours were from 8 o’clock every morning, including Sunday, to 8 o’clock the next.

Suppose your duties had thrown you into desperate fights, open revolver battles, chases that lasted for days at a time through the seemingly trackless woods, and that a dozen times you had been within an inch of your life.

If you could meet all these conditions you would be the counterpart of Matt Starwich, deputy sheriff for the district of Ravensdale, and you would be an “every-day hero.” There are few people in the county who have more deeds of heroism to their credit than this same Matt Starwich. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Times, December 16, 1973

By Stephen H. Dunphy

It’s dark as a dungeon
And damp as the dew
Where the dangers are double
And the pleasures are few
Where the rain never falls
And the sun never shines
It’s dark as a dungeon
Way down in the mine.
                    — Merle Travis

Joe Ozbolt had finished a day’s work in the mine and his face showed it. (Photo: Jerry Gay.)

Joe Ozbolt had finished a day’s work in the mine and his face showed it. (Photo: Jerry Gay.)

BLACK DIAMOND — Three, four, then five miner’s lamps came into view as the man-car climbed the 1,300 feet to the surface of the Rogers No. 3 coal mine near here.

There was Tony Basselli, 42 years in the mines. And Joe Ozbolt, black coal dust creeping under his cap like a reverse of the hair he lost years ago. And John Costrich, wrinkled, coal-black hands clutching a battered black lunch bucket. And Bud Simmons, the supervisor, a miner since 1928.

And George. George, with his usual six-feet-at-a-stride pace, was gone, down the hill and toward home before anyone could even say good night.

The day shift at the state’s only remaining operating underground coal mine was ending. The night shift—Grover Smail and Lou McCauley, both with 40-plus years of experience, and Jim Thompson—was ready to go “downstairs” to the eternal twilight of a coal mine. (more…)

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Originally published in the Black Diamond Bulletin, Fall 2011

By Ken Jensen

You know you’ve reached Cumberland when you see this sign on the Veazie-Cumberland Road.

You know you’ve reached Cumberland when you see this sign on the Veazie-Cumberland Road.

Take a drive from Black Diamond, up Lawson Hill and past Lake 12, past Franklin and over the one-lane bridge, past the Green River Gorge Resort and up toward the foothills to the southeast….

At last you arrive at the corner of SE 352nd Street and the Veazie-Cumberland Road. An old rusted Pepsi sign marks the spot that—if it were in better condition—would sure to be coveted by those guys from American Pickers.

Welcome to Cumberland. (more…)

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Originally published in the Enumclaw Courier, August 14, 1930

Enumclaw districtAside from logging and farming, coal mining is undoubtedly one of the oldest of commercial industries in the state of Washington, millions of dollars worth of this fuel has been removed from the land in this section of the state during the past fifty years.

During the past few years the coal mining industry has been lagging, competition of other fuel from other parts of the nation has done much to bring on this condition. And lack of proper home support has been responsible in a certain degree for this depletion of mining activity.

As a result of a concerted campaign on the part of organized business of the state, the mining industry appears to be on the verge of an unusual advance. Enumclaw will benefit much because of that advance and to bring home a greater realization of what the coal industry means to us the following contributed article has been prepared through the local business men. (more…)

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Originally published in the Globe News, August 17, 1975

By Bill Smull

Large group of Cumberland area miners pose for a portrait. Knowledgeable old-timers say the picture must predate World War I, because of whale-oil miners’ lamps, forerunner of the carbide lamps. Eighth person from left in second row reportedly is Louie Cinkovich, now a resident of Enumclaw. No other information was immediately available on the picture.

Large group of Cumberland area miners pose for a portrait. Knowledgeable old-timers say the picture must predate World War I, because of whale-oil miners’ lamps, forerunner of the carbide lamps. Eighth person from left in second row reportedly is Louie Cinkovich, now a resident of Enumclaw. No other information was immediately available on the picture.

The railroad created the mines, just as surely as it created the roadbed and the shiny metal rails that carried millions of tons of coal away from the forested Cascade valleys.

The coal companies, in turn, created Cumberland, naming it after the rich Pennsylvania mining area and peopling it with thousands of immigrants who found their “promised land” in the black veins lacing those rounded, ancient hills. (more…)

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Originally published in the Seattle Times, December 17, 1967

By Marty Loken

Moss-roofed company houses are about all that remain of Bayne, a South King County coal-mining center that surged with activity 50 years ago. Hundreds of persons once lived in Bayne's small, look-alike dwellings, which are near collapse after years of neglect.

Moss-roofed company houses are about all that remain of Bayne, a South King County coal-mining center that surged with activity 50 years ago. Hundreds of persons once lived in Bayne’s small, look-alike dwellings, which are near collapse after years of neglect.

The stark skeleton of Bayne, a former coal-mining boom town, almost disappears during the spring and summer months, when alders, cottonwoods, and blackberry vines hide it amid their foliage.

Bayne, 15 miles east of Auburn, became a near ghost town 15 years ago when Jim Bolde, an almost legendary figure in this South King County mining area, reluctantly abandoned his Carbon Fuel Co. operation.

NOW, YEAR BY YEAR, Bayne is being swallowed by nature—inhabited only by Bolde’s widow, Rose, and a few “gyppo” loggers who rent the company town’s unpainted, three-­room houses.

The story of Bayne’s rise and fall is a reflection of Washington’s coal industry, which peaked out in 1918 and has slipped into economic obscurity. (more…)

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