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The Issaquah Press
Issaquah, Washington
January 28, 2009     The Issaquah Press
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January 28, 2009

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B4 WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 28, 2009 THE ISSAQUAH PRESS HISTORY lro SUBMIlrA HI$1~l~ PAGE ITEM: Call 392- 6434, ext. 227, or e-mail editor@isspress.com. 4~ ear ISSAQUAH HISTORY MUSEUMS HAPPY NEW YEAR 1930 In previous generations, New Year's cards were more of- ten sent than Christmas cards. The cataloging information on this card reads: Vern Howelrs camper, which he built. On the back of the card, it says, 'Don't be surprised to have company real soon.' Based on the truck, History Mu- seums Collections Manager Julie Hunter said it appears to be from the 1930s. You ould be nn.ng... ~iiiiii!iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii~ and dancing! Go online, take our readership/market survey and tell us what you think. You could win $ !.000! Please allow 30-40 minutes to complete the survey. umn~w.pulseresearch.com/ipress THE ISSAQUAH PRESS ......... J II I II .... III I " II I I I~ I rl = I J I J ' ISSAQUAH HISTORY MLTSEUMS This was likely taken in the 1910s. It came from a book of photos of all of Pacific Coast Co. properties, including this mine property held by its subsidiary, Pacific Coast Coal Co. A day in the life of a coal miner Coal mining led to Issaquah's transformation from farming com- munity to bustling town. The industry brought hundreds of workers to Issaquah; the growth continued as businessmen estab- lished banks, shops and other services. Issaquah miners were all ages and came from all across the world, drawn to the area by the promise of employment at wages higher than that of East Coast miners. In 1900, just over 60 percent of Issaquah's workforce was em- ployed in coal mines. About half of these men lived with their fami- lies, often in housing rented to them by the mining company. Oth- ers were single or separated from their family and lived as boarders in one of Issaquah's many hotels. They rose early and spent 10 or more hours at work; in return they earned $2.85 a day (as of 1903), less if they were laborers or driv- ers rather than miners. Working conditions for men who worked underground were dark, dirty and cramped. Miners came home cov- ered with coal dust and stopped in a washhouse where they changed clothes and washed before enter- ing their homes. Mining was and is a hazardous occupation. Mining at the turn of the century was even more so. Work conditions had little regula- tion. Explosions, cave-ins, poison- ous gases, falling rocks any of these could kill entire crews. Issaquah was fortunate not to experience the massive loss of life that occurred in other mining communities. Nearby Black Dia- mond lost more than 140 miners over the course of its mining his- tory. Issaquah had 19 mining deaths. Most fatalities in Issaquah were incidents in which only one miner perished. In April 1901, Frank GiUino was killed when he got in front of a moving coal car. Several other miners died in separate falling rock incidents. The greatest loss of life at the Is- saquah mines occurred Aug. 21, 1900. A surface fire near a mine airshaft spread into the mine. As the shaft filled with smoke, two miners escaped, but returned to try to save three co-workers. All five suffocated. In 1902, William Price and Bernard Sutter perished while working as "powder monkeys." Powder monkeys prepared dyna- mite charges to take into the mine. The two men opened a 50- pound box of dynamite and were either capping dynamite sticks or thawing them out with the open flame of their headlamps. News coverage of the mining accident was lurid, noting that there was not enough of Sutter left to exam- ine for a coroner's inquest. Both men left behind a widow and three children. Miners were, and are, also subject to nonfatal health stres- sors. Even now, about 90 percent of miners are hearing impaired by age 50. They remain suscepti- ble to coal miner's pneumoconio- sis (or black lung), although rates of this illness have dropped con- HOMETOWN STORE. J " Washington Market Now Available ...... .... Issaquah I Estimated financial requirements~ l O, O00 available cash and a posilive net worth. Estimated initial inves~ent $50,000 to $70,000. siderably in the last 30 years. The coal mined from the Is- saquah area, a high-quality lignite coal, was not as dusty as other types. This resulted in fewer air particulates and decreased the in- cidence of black lung disease. It did not eliminate it, however. In 1910, Joseph Yourglich died of what the family called miner's asthma after a lifetime of working in the mines of Pennsylvania and Washington. He left a widow and nine children, one unborn at the time of his death. In spite of the dangers, coal mining provided employment and steady income (as long as the mines were not on strike). Mining was frequently a family affair, with father and one or more sons work- Your news comments welcome! ~ISSAQUAH PRESS. om ing together. Schooling was a luxury in this era; if economic need demanded it, then boys left school and went to work. The 1900 U.S. census found that 18 percent of chil- dren ages 10-15 worked, and it was not uncom- mon to find min- ers as young as 14 working in Is- saquah mines, most as drivers. The advent of electrical power in the mines created another task for young workers. A cable pulled coal cars out of the mine, and boys removed the cou- pler pin from be- tween them to al- low the car to continue down the tracks and the ca- ble to be rolled up. Plucking the pin from between the moving cars at the right time was a tricky business. Many hands and arms were injured or lost in this job. The concept of retiring from work was uncommon 100 years ago, and it was impossible for all but the most financially successful. In 1900, of 139 men who worked in Issaquah mines, six were in their 60s and two were over 70. One of these men, Martin Boylen, died a bachelor at the King County Poor Farm in 1909, at age 74. Coal mining is not only part of our nation's history, but it is part of the present as well. The last mine in Issaquah closed more than 40 years ago, but the marks of the mining industry are still vis- ible, if you know where to look: Company homes that still stand on Mine Hill Road, low spots above airshafts and tunnels that sink, and the Hillside Cemetery graves of those who died mining coal. Source -- Issaquah History Museums ASTER MONTESSORI ].. ~ SCHOOL - KLAHANIE ~ Enrolling for 2009-10 [~_ OPEN HOUSE [ ~l~-~ Jan. 31 & Feb. 14 - IOAM-1PM [~* 425-557-4238 J ~ ~,*~.~ Info@astermontessorl.com www.aster montessori.com oer o e eeds a it& [elp Stress Patty Groves, M.A. Depression Issaquah Creek Counseling Center Life Transitions 545 Rainier Blvd. N., Issaquah Loss and Grief www.issaquahcreekcounseling.com Relationship Problems 425 898-1700 Register Jan, 1st& ./ PONY LEAGUE 80' Bases & 54' Pitching Mound Ages 13-14 Skill Evals Sun., Feb. 22 PONY/COLT & PALOMINO 90' Bases & 60' Pitching Mound Ages 15-19 Pre-formed Teams Welcome Volunteers Needed