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Posts Tagged ‘South Prairie’

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 Pacific Coast Bulletin, January 14, 1926

This Link-Belt moveable crane is used at the Briquet Plant not only to load Diamond Briquets from the storage platform into the cars, but also to load coal from the storage piles into cars preparatory to sending it through the plant. (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 Pacific Coast Bulletin, December 31, 1925

Every miner at Black Diamond probably knows the three men whose likenesses appear above. If there is one who doesn’t, he should. They represent the three phases of coal mining most vital to the industry; efficiency and economy in operation, safety inspection, and first aid and mine rescue training.

In Supt. Paul Gallagher largely rests the success or failure of the mine’s operation. Closely related is the safety inspection, directed by Deputy State Mine Inspector, Geo. T. Wake, under the able supervision of Wm. R. Reese, Chief Inspector. And last but not least is John G. Schoning, of the United States Bureau of Mines, who patiently drills the men in the principles of first aid and mine rescue work. All three indispensable. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, December 10, 1925

Richard Goodhead, mine foreman at Burnett, has been a miner in this state almost as long as coal has been dug here. He has been with the Pacific Coast Coal Company at Burnett since the mine reopened several years ago, and prior to that time was at Franklin and Hyde mines.

Loyal to the company, and loyal to the men under him, he has built up the reputation of being a “Square-Shooter,” and a practical mining man. Proof of the esteem in which he is held is shown by the fact that his friends all call him “Dick.” (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, December 3, 1925

I’m a coal miner for the same reason that you’re in business. To make a living.

Work in a coal mine is preferable to a job out-of-doors. Neither heat nor cold affect me, and the hazard is less than in railroading or window-washing.

I want my family to live in an American community, where American ideals prevail; where modern schools, churches, and a wholesome community spirit are present.

I want to work where there is not constant friction between employer and employee; where I can get fair play and a square deal.

In the coal mines, the state has one of its greatest natural resources. I want to help develop this industry; that commerce and manufacturing may prosper, and to keep this state free of a foreign fuel dependence.

Work in the coal mines of Washington gives me an opportunity to contribute to the upbuilding of the Pacific Northwest. I spend my money here for food, for clothes, automobiles and radios. You buy the coal which I mine and I’ll continue to add to your wealth as you promote my prosperity.

R.J. Miller
Newcastle coal miner

Washington coal mines expend more than twenty million dollars annually for payrolls and supplies! (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, November 19, 1925

Shortly before the tunnel work was completed in the New Black Diamond Mine last month, Manager of Mines D.C. Botting arranged for the mine superintendents and supervisors from each of the camps to inspect the property.

In addition to going over the New Black Diamond property the party also visited the Briquet Plant, where the process of manufacturing Diamond Briquets was witnessed first hand. The picture shows the group on the trestle leading from the mine entrance to the tipple and bunkers under construction. (more…)

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