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Posts Tagged ‘Old Newcastle’

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 Pacific Coast Bulletin, September 10, 1925

That all men who ride coal trips are not coal miners is proven by this picture. The Bulletin photographer caught this trip just before it started for the twelfth level of Black Diamond Mine, where more than 1,500 feet below sea level, an attempt was made by radio experts to log some of the programs with which the air above the surface is charged. But the mine was too deep for the radio waves.

Cager Victor McDonald and Supt. Paul Gallagher are shown on the rear end, with Manager of Mines D.C. Botting in the car. Joe Bennett and Maj. S.E. Hutton are in the lower car. (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 Valley Living, October 9, 1987

By Peggy Ziebarth
Valley Living Editor

Neely Mansion in Auburn is high on Palmer’s list of favorite local landmarks.

Neely Mansion in Auburn is high on Palmer’s list of favorite local landmarks.

“Every time an old house goes, a part of me goes with it,” says Dan Palmer, shuffling through a stack of photographs of historic landmarks scattered over the Valley.

“I can take it when nature takes them, but when it’s the bulldozers…,” Palmer’s voice softens in regret.

Palmer, a folk musician and craftsman by trade, really started getting serious about Valley history when he moved to Black Diamond. And as his interest grew, he started accumulating articles and books on the area’s roots and mounting his own collection of photographs of buildings still standing and the overgrown remnants of a boisterous coal mining past. (more…)

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Originally published in the The Seattle Star, September 16, 1907

Digging coal 500 feet underground in the mines of the Superior Coal and Improvement Co.

Digging coal 500 feet underground in the mines of the Superior Coal and Improvement Co.

The Superior Coal and Improvement Company, now owning and operating a producing coal mine 12 miles east of Seattle, offers a block of stock at 40¢ per share cash, or 45¢ on installments, to raise enough money to lay 3 miles of railroad track over a right of way 100 feet wide owned by the company, and graded for over two miles, with 7,000 cedar ties cut and stacked along the grade.

Read carefully the following report on our property by one of the leading mining engineers of the great Northwest, Mr. F.H. Whitworth, who has had 25 years’ experience in mining in the state of Washington. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, November 9, 1922

Coming off shift in Newcastle.

Coming off shift in Newcastle.

These men who go down deep “the precious pearls to bring,” were just leaving the works when we flagged them. It was a hard job making them pose for this picture because the hot shower and the “Hot Meat” was waiting for them.

However, in order to oblige us, they stood for the monkey business—and here you are—a portion of the hard-hitting Newcastle crew of miners. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, October 5, 1922

A few of the second-shift men who “whoop it up” at Newcastle. This picture was taken “just before the battle, Mother,” which accounts for the well-fed appearance of the crew, the clean faces and the general air of contentment. We don’t know why they didn’t laugh—the photographer told them his funniest gag, but there was nary a cackle. It is tuff, we’ll admit, to work a second shift. It interferes with one’s evenings so.

A few of the second-shift men who “whoop it up” at Newcastle. This picture was taken “just before the battle, Mother,” which accounts for the well-fed appearance of the crew, the clean faces and the general air of contentment. We don’t know why they didn’t laugh—the photographer told them his funniest gag, but there was nary a cackle. It is tuff, we’ll admit, to work a second shift. It interferes with one’s evenings so.

Facts about coal industry presented in forceful manner by noted writer

Floyd W. Parsons, a prolific contributor to national magazines and an authority on industrial questions, in an article entitled, “Coal Economies,” appearing in the Saturday Evening Post, issue of September 30, stresses some points and calls attention to certain facts we believe will be read with interest by many employees of this company. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Times, May 26, 1957

By Lucile McDonald

Washington has plenty of the black mineral but its production has fallen tremendously

A truck loaded coal at the tipple of the Cougar Mountain mine for hauling to the Newcastle storage bunkers. – Photos by Parker McAllister.

Washington’s coal industry is in a state of suspended animation. Once a heavy contributor to the prosperity of the region, it is represented now by only a few scattered operations. Diesel oil, electricity and, lately, natural gas have cut off the markets.

Coal production in the state declined from a peak in 1918 of 4,128,424 tons to an average of 600,000 tons annually.

In King County, which owes its early economic development largely to its bituminous-coal beds, only five mines are active.

Refuse dumps and sealed tunnels south and east of Lake Washington, south of Lake Sammamish and in the Cedar and upper Green River Valleys attest the once-wide extent of mining within a few miles of Seattle. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, February 15, 1922

Pacific Coast Coal Co. Logo 1922Following the action of the former employees at Black Diamond with respect to vacating the dwellings on company property, as reported in the Bulletin of January 18th, the former employees at Newcastle and Franklin have decided to take similar action, and through their attorneys have agreed to move from one-half of the houses at Newcastle by February 15th and from the balance by March 1st; and from the Franklin houses by March 1st.

As a part of the agreement, the former employees at Newcastle have been given permission to occupy and remain in the houses at Old Newcastle until late in June, in order that the attendance of their children at school shall not be interrupted, the agreement providing that they shall vacate those houses by July 1st. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, January 25, 1922

By Geo. Watkin Evans, consulting coal mining engineer, Seattle

Pacific Coast Coal Co. Logo 1922The articles written thus far describing the coal fields of the State of Washington have dealt with fields which, with the exception of the Bellingham coal mines in Whatcom County, do not contain coal mines of very great commercial importance.

King County, next in order of discussion, is one of the three important bituminous coal areas of the state, the other two being Pierce and Kittitas counties. King County contains coal areas of such importance that it will be advisable to divide them under subdivisions, as follows:

Newcastle–Issaquah–Grand Ridge area; Cedar River area; Raging River–Upper Cedar River area; Ravensdale–Black Diamond area; Pacosco–Hyde area; Kummer–Krain area; National–Navy area; Bayne–Pocahontas area; Durham–Kangley area.

By subdividing the field into the above groups, the geological structure of the fields and the types of coal contained in them can be handled to best advantage. (more…)

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