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Posts Tagged ‘Seattle Coal and Transportation Co.’

Prepared for the membership of the PNR-NMRA, September 13, 1958

By H.A. Durfy

Coal—black diamonds—a source of heat, light, power, medicines, and many more products too numerous to mention here. This was the beginning of the Pacific Coast R.R. Co., upon which you are riding today. Of course, like other railroads, the Pacific Coast R.R. Co. was not always known by the present title, and we want to lead you through the background and the beginnings of the railroad. (more…)

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Originally published in the Seattle Daily Intelligencer, May 18, 1880

One of the most convincing proofs of the steady growth and prosperity of our territory is to be found in the development and increased capacity of our coal mines. And, for an example we will take one, near at hand—the Newcastle mine—situated near Lake Washington, in the central portion of our county to demonstrate this proposition. (more…)

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Originally published in the Washington State Historical Society’s quarterly journal, Columbia, Spring 1994

By John Hanscom

Drawing of Franklin, circa 1887.

Bird’s-eye-view map of Franklin Mine and its environs, c. 1890. (Courtesy of Don Mason and the Black Diamond Historical Society.)

Henry Villard launched the Oregon Improvement Company in October 1880 as part of his grand scheme to dominate the development of the Pacific Northwest. By 1883 he had tied the area to the national economy with the completion of the Northern Pacific Railroad. Expansive development of the Pacific Northwest seemed assured.

To fuel Villard’s steamships and locomotives, a dependable coal supply was a high priority. By February 1881 the Oregon Improvement Company had acquired the Seattle Coal and Transportation Company, including the Newcastle Mine east of Lake Washington, at a cost of one million dollars. The Seattle and Walla Walla Railroad (renamed the Columbia and Puget Sound) was also purchased for over half a million dollars to transport coal from mine to Seattle bunkers. Villard hired John L. Howard under a five-year contract at $10,000 per year as general manager of the coal business. (more…)

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Originally published in the Railway & Marine News, January 1916

The opening of the first coal mine on the far western slope of the United States, and the building of Seattle’s first railway

By I.W. Rodgers, of the Pacific Coast Coal Company
All photos courtesy Vivian Carkeek

Seattle Coal & Transportation Company’s coal bunkers, at the foot of Pike Street. Note the wilderness north of Pike. These bunkers were built in 1872, and much to the surprise of Seattle, collapsed into the bay one Sunday morning in the late ‘70s. The vessel loading coal is one of the early side-wheelers.

Seattle Coal & Transportation Company’s coal bunkers, at the foot of Pike Street. Note the wilderness north of Pike. These bunkers were built in 1872, and much to the surprise of Seattle, collapsed into the bay one Sunday morning in the late ‘70s. The vessel loading coal is one of the early side-wheelers.

Now that the oldest coal mine on the Pacific slope of the United States has just celebrated its half-century of useful service to the people of the Northwest it is interesting to turn the pages of pioneer history back to the early days and review the conditions amid which one of the state of Washington’s great industries of today had its beginnings. As a sequel to the opening of that first mine Washington has become one of the important coal producing states.

Newcastle is a famous name in the coal mining world, so it is fitting that this first mine in Washington should have been so named, and for fifty years Newcastle coal has been a standard for domestic use upon the Pacific Coast. (more…)

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Coal miners at the Newcastle mine take time out for a photo with a car similar the ones lost in the lake when the barge they were being transported on sunk during a Jan. 12, 1875, windstorm. (Renton Historical Society photo)

Coal miners at the Newcastle mine take time out for a photo with a car similar to the ones lost in the lake when the barge they were being transported on sunk during a Jan. 12, 1875, windstorm. (Renton Historical Society photo)

Originally published in the Eastside Journal, April 18, 1989

By Herbert Atienza

A Newcastle coal train preserved intact under the chilly depths of Lake Washington for almost 125 years will be brought to the surface again.

The 18-car, narrow-gauge train was discovered in the middle of the lake five years ago, still loaded with coal, south of the I-520 bridge, west of Medina. (more…)

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