Coal Miners Cemetery — Part 3

August 12, 2015

NEW — 6 a.m. Aug. 12, 2015

This is the third history feature installment about the historic Coal Miner’s Cemetery, on 129th Avenue Southeast, south of the Newcastle Library.

Every cemetery has many stories to tell. Some are sad, some are heartwarming and some help us remember how we have grown as a people.

BackTrackingAt the time of the first burial in 1878, it was unheard of for whites and blacks to be buried in the same cemetery. Chinese would also be excluded. The Newcastle Miner’s Cemetery has both ethnic groups, though there is a distinction.

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Coal Miners Cemetery — Part 1

June 4, 2015

Did you know there is a cemetery in the city of Newcastle?

File Newcastle’s Historic Coal Miners Cemetery was established in 1878.

File
Newcastle’s Historic Coal Miners Cemetery was established in 1878.

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Remembering historian Milt Swanson and his stories

March 5, 2015

Whether Newcastle residents know it or not, March 29 is a significant date in the city’s history. On that day, in 1918, Ernest Milton Swanson was born. Milt, as he was known, was born and raised in Newcastle, and is single-handedly responsible for protecting the city’s history.

A founder of the Newcastle Historical Society, Swanson knew more about Newcastle’s history than anyone, because he actually lived it. Swanson died at the age of 95 in January 2014. In this month’s history feature, Newcastle City Councilman, and history buff, Rich Crispo recalls his favorite Swanson stories. Read more

From coal mines to golf

February 6, 2015

File Scaffolding and landscaping equipment sit in front of the clubhouse March 1999 as opening day approaches for The Golf Club at Newcastle.

File
Scaffolding and landscaping equipment sit in front of the clubhouse March 1999 as opening day approaches for The Golf Club at Newcastle.

As you line up your approach shot to the par-3 fourth hole on Coal Creek, did you ever wonder how The Golf Club at Newcastle came into being? Read more

Baima House is important remnant of Newcastle’s past

October 4, 2013

By Bob Cerelli Newcastle's Baima House is one of the oldest buildings in King County. The property's owners, Pam and Gary Lee, have fixed it up as seen in this recent photo.

By Bob Cerelli
Newcastle’s Baima House is one of the oldest buildings in King County. The property’s owners, Pam and Gary Lee, have fixed it up as seen in this recent photo.

If walls could talk, the Baima House would tell quite a story, one that spans more than a century, and includes moments of revelry, sadness and even mischief. Read more

City secures grant for cemetery

July 5, 2013

One of Newcastle’s best kept secrets is hidden along 129th Avenue Southeast. Travel down the road nestled between the Newcastle Library and Valley Medical Center, and you will eventually come upon an important relic of the city’s past.

There is arguably no greater symbol of the city’s rich coal mining history than the Newcastle Historic Cemetery, which serves as the resting place for many of the miners.

The 2.2-acre cemetery was established in the late 1880s. King County designated it a historical landmark in 1982, and the city of Newcastle took ownership of the site in 2001.

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Test your Newcastle history knowledge (Part 2)

February 28, 2013

At the 2012 Newcastle Days celebration, the city’s rich history was celebrated with the festival’s theme, Return to Newcastle. One of the components of the celebration was a trivia activity put together by Mayor Rich Crispo.

Crispo compiled a list of 120 questions that highlighted the history of Newcastle. Each vendor booth had a question, and prizes were awarded for correct answers at the end of the day.

Rich Crispo

Rich Crispo

In our October issue, we printed 16 of those questions. Below we’ve printed 10 more of the questions, which bring forth interesting facts about the history of the Newcastle community.

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A coal-mining life

August 2, 2012

Milt Swanson, 94, maintains local history through memorabilia, historical society

By Greg Farrar
Milt Swanson, history buff and artifact keeper, sits at the grade-school desk his mother Esilda Swanson used when she went to school in Newcastle.

Not many people can say they’ve lived in the same house for 90 years.

But then again, most people can’t say they’ve lived 90 years period.

Milt Swanson has. And then some.

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1940 Census shines light on city’s industrial history

May 31, 2012

For historians around the world, including members of the Issaquah History Museums, April 2 was a big day.

Executive Director Erica Maniez had her own personal countdown going for that particular Monday, because after finally fulfilling the mandatory 72-year waiting period, records from Newcastle and surrounding towns recorded in the 1940 U.S. Census were released by the U.S. National Archives.

Contributed by Issaquah History Museums This handwritten U.S. Census sheet from the Newcastle precinct enumerated by Emma L. Taylor recorded the ages, birthplaces, employment information, education status and other information for the federal government in 1940.

“It was interesting to see some of the old familiar families, and how the next generations down were living in their own households,” she said. “I’ve noticed quite a few people that I’ve known since I worked here who have since passed away, but I did know some people here that are still living.”

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The Ant that could

March 2, 2012

First steam engine made the Newcastle-to-Seattle coal run more efficient

The successful export of coal and the early success of this town called Newcastle are, quite simply, inexorably linked.

But exactly how the coal was extracted from deep within the coal seams of Newcastle and transported to the awaiting economic lifeline of Seattle’s shores — especially as full mine operations started in Newcastle in September 1871— was far from easy. The loads were transferred a whopping 11 times from start to finish.

Photo courtesy of the Renton Historical Society and Museum The Ant, the first steam engine in the Puget Sound area and second in the state of Washington, was shipped from San Francisco to the Seattle area in the winter of 1871 to enable the transfer of Newcastle coal from Lake Union to the Elliot Bay area.

The coal from Newcastle was generally San Francisco bound after being loaded onto ships in Seattle, but the Puget Sound area would get something in return from the Bay area — its first steam railroad system.

The Ant, brought up from San Francisco in the winter of 1871 to enable the transfer of coal from Lake Union to the Elliot Bay area, would be a major improvement to further Newcastle’s ability to export coal, local train expert Russ Segner said.

Until the addition of the first edition, coal was transported by a series of various modes of transportation, including hauls by mules, horses, trams and flatboats.

“Mules were the sole motive power underground,” writes Richard K. McDonald and Lucile McDonald in “The Coals of Newcastle: A Hundred Years of Hidden History.”

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